Dutch Eredivisie football club AZ Alkmaar has announced that it will undertake a complete replacement of the roof structure at its AFAS Stadion following the high-profile collapse at the venue.
AZ hit the headlines in August after the stadium’s roof partially collapsed. The club revealed that the incident, which led to no injuries, was caused by strong winds. Work had been taking place to bring down three quarters of the stadium’s roof structure, before developing a new design to be installed at the end of the current 2019-20 season.
However, in an update on the project, AZ has now said it will also replace the roof above the stadium’s main stand after new research from engineering and consultancy firm Royal HaskoningDHV showed that this section was also liable to collapse in high winds.
Earlier investigations into the collapse found that welding connections in the support structure were too thin and the structure had already been weakened by earlier storms. Dismantling work on the roof commenced on October 1 and AZ said an assessment is currently being made on when improvements will be completed.
AZ’s general manager, Robert Eenhoorn, said: “We put the safety of our fans and visitors first and therefore do not take any risks. That is why we have decided to renew the roof above the main stand as quickly as possible. In the meantime, a safe solution for the home matches in December is being looked into.”
AZ last month announced that it hoped to return to AFAS Stadion before the league’s winter break. AZ is currently playing its ‘home’ games at Cars Jeans Stadion, home of rival Eredivisie club ADO Den Haag.
Image: AZ Alkmaar