Dutch Eredivisie football team NEC Nijmegen has joined forces with main sponsor, construction company KlokGroep, to launch a campaign for the team to buy back Goffertstadion.
The campaign, entitled ‘Ons Nest’ or Our Nest, is designed to make the club more financially secure by improving the stadium and driving more revenue from it.
NEC said it is important that income is generated by redeveloping the stadium and potentially adding extra seats; adding social and commercial ventures in and around the facility; and exploring real estate development in the form of the addition of new apartments integrated in, or next to, the stadium.
A long-term strategy has been developed which outlines the acquisition of the stadium from the Municipality of Nijmegen, while allowing the club to continue operating effectively in the Eredivisie.
NEC said in a statement: “The NEC stadium, which was literally dug and built up by the people of Nijmegen in the 1930s, is now also literally and figuratively slowly crumbling.
“If we do nothing, all that will be left is bankruptcy of the club and the memories of the past. Nobody wants that. That is why the urgency is high and action is a ‘must’ for our club.
“With Ons Nest we respond to the needs and wishes of all stakeholders, so that the area will really add something to the environment in the future.
“That is why everyone can contribute ideas: local residents, house hunters, residents of Nijmegen, entrepreneurs, organisations, fresh thinkers and critics, young and old. All input and ideas are appreciated.”
NEC said it will organise various opportunities for people to participate in the design process for Ons Nest, beginning with public meetings scheduled for March 7-8.
NEC said the municipality supports the plans it is drawing up with KlokGroep. The project team is being assisted by partners in the field of landscape architecture (Felixx) and cultural-historical advice (Hylkema Erfgoed).
With a current capacity of 12,500, Goffertstadion opened in 1939, with NEC calling the stadium home since 1945.
Earlier this season, NEC was forced to play matches behind closed doors after an incident at the Goffertstadion. The Goffertstadion was closed to fans until further notice after a stand partially collapsed at the venue on October 17. Following NEC’s 1-0 home defeat against Vitesse Arnhem, a small section of the stand caved in as the away fans celebrated their team’s victory.
No injuries were caused by the incident, which resulted in around 35 fans dropping a few feet as the stand buckled while they celebrated.
Image: NEC Nijmegen