Plans revised for new Feyenoord stadium

Stakeholders behind the proposed new stadium for Dutch Eredivisie football club Feyenoord have presented a new business plan for the project which includes a number of changes to the original vision.

Feyenoord and the Stadion Feijenoord group yesterday (Thursday) delivered ‘Business Case 2.0’ to Rotterdam city council following a recent feasibility study conducted by International Stadia Group (ISG). The study canvassed the opinions of 27,000 season ticket holders, along with business people.

In December, Feyenoord was given the green light to continue with efforts to develop the largest football stadium in the Netherlands after the project had stalled in recent months. It was reported in November that local authorities were concerned over major delays for the 63,000-seat project, which is at the centre of a wider €1.5bn (£1.31bn/$1.7bn) 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 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.

Business Case 2.0 outlines that threatened budget overruns due to rapidly increasing construction costs have been absorbed with smart design modifications, including a redesign of the retractable roof, the stadium concourses and a simplified and ‘smarter’ construction of the stadium itself, so that less steel is used.

Feyenoord and Stadion Feijenoord said an estimate for total investment costs for the stadium has now been set at €393.8m, which it says fits within the available financing. The investment is set to be financed from loans, equity and issuance of shares. A total of €223.8 million is to be provided as construction financing by a consortium of banks led by Goldman Sachs.

Institutional and private investors will account for €100m. The municipality of Rotterdam is set to provide €40m, Stadion Feijenoord €20m and various investors and foundations €30m. An additional €30m is to be raised by investors associated with the club.

Compared to previous estimates, annual stadium revenues have decreased by €13.1m. This is partly due to a redesign of the corporate areas of the stadium, where the number of seats has been adjusted from 6,250 to 5,386. The number of season tickets available to fans is 40,000.

Another sticking point for the project, a so-called performance fee for the club to compete at the venue, appears to have been resolved. In the original plan of May 2017, Feyenoord’s team budget was set to receive €17.5m per year guaranteed and €7.5m on a variable basis. However, the club was seeking the €25m in full, claiming that it needs the revenue to continue to keep pace with Eredivisie rivals Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. This has been agreed to.

Feyenoord and Stadion Feijenoord said a “a lot of tinkering” will be made to the plans in the coming months as the two groups seek to meet a targeted start of construction of mid-2020 for an opening in the summer of 2023.

Image: OMA