The project to deliver a new 63,000-seat stadium for Dutch Eredivisie football club Feyenoord has been hit by fresh delays, with officials stating it is now not expected to be completed until the summer of 2025.
The announcement came after a meeting between the club and the board of Feyenoord City, the wider development scheme for the southern part of Rotterdam that will include the new stadium. While the two parties said they have decided to cooperate to continue the work to realise the stadium plan with “full force”, they outlined that the delivery date has slipped to 2025 with an anticipated green light for the scheme in mid-2020.
The latest announcement comes after stakeholders behind the project in March revealed a one-year delay for the delivery of the €444m (£374.1m/$491.9m) venue, stating there were too many risks in sticking to the original timetable. Officials had targeted start of construction in mid-2020 for an opening in the summer of 2023.
In a joint statement, the club and Feyenoord City said: “The later opening date is mainly the result of the extra time required for applying for the required permits. More time is also needed for the acquisition of land and the relocation of current owners and tenants. The adjusted schedule will of course be discussed shortly with the municipality of Rotterdam and other parties involved.
“In the coming period, the final design will be assessed in relation to the schedule of requirements and the available building sum. Furthermore, the business case is further calculated. The final design of the stadium must be good in every way, that is to say: financially, functionally, as an icon and above all good for Feyenoord.”
Feyenoord’s new general director, Mark Koevermans, last month laid out three conditions that the club needed answers to in order to commit to its proposed new stadium, including having a stake in the project. Speaking at a press conference, Koevermans said the Rotterdam giant is expected to make a final decision on whether to fully commit to the project by mid-2020.
Officials behind Feyenoord City in October submitted the masterplan for the scheme to the city council. The masterplan contained the complete vision for the radical overhaul of land in the southern part of the Dutch city, which received the green light from the municipal council in May 2017 with certain conditions attached.
The presentation of the masterplan came after the final design for the new stadium was presented in September, complete with a few alterations. Most noticeably, the changes included bringing the stadium’s stands closer to the pitch.
Reacting to the latest news, local politicians have expressed unease about the future of the project. “I am very unpleasantly surprised,” said PvdA party council member Dennis Tak, according to local newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
“The explanation is very sparse. With such a mega project you expect a little more explanation. We are therefore looking forward to an extensive response, including the financial consequences for the club of the fact that a year later is being planned.”
The 50PLUS party chairman, Ellen Verkoelen, added: “The pressure to deliver, instead of just nice pictures and words, is getting bigger. No money, no exercise and therefore delay. The city council must start scratching its head. Because how long are we going to wait until the conditions set by the municipality of Rotterdam for a new stadium are met?”