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Rotterdam sets deadline for Feyenoord City project

The City of Rotterdam has given Eredivisie football club Feyenoord a deadline of this month to make a firm decision on its proposed new stadium project, according to multiple reports.

Dutch newspaper Trouw, citing a progress report from Rotterdam city council, said local authorities are concerned over major delays for the project, which is at the centre of a wider €1.5bn (£1.31bn/$1.72bn) regeneration of the southern part of the city.

The city council gave its approval to the project in May 2017, with ‘Feyenoord City’ to include a new 63,000-capacity home for the team and other amenities such as apartments, commercial space and additional sports facilities. The development will be located in the Rotterdam-Zuid area of the city on the River Maas, and the council has called on the respective stakeholders to “work together optimally”.

The stadium has been earmarked for completion for the summer of 2023, with the city contributing €135m to its €365m price tag. Feyenoord was due to approve a business case for the stadium by the end of the summer, but a sticking point appears to be a so-called performance fee for the club to compete at the venue.

In the original plan of May last year, Feyenoord’s team budget was set to receive €17.5m per year guaranteed and €7.5m on a variable basis. However, the club is now reportedly seeking the €25m in full, claiming that it needs the revenue to continue to keep pace with Eredivisie rivals Ajax and PSV Eindhoven.

Trouw also notes that one of the ‘critical points’ that the progress report mentions is support among the club’s fans for the new stadium. Surveys have shown that a majority of fans are in favour of a new stadium, but there remains a core group of opponents that continues to argue for renovation of De Kuip, Feyenoord’s home since 1937.

Image: OMA