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SC Heerenveen to reinforce stadium after investigation findings

SC Heerenveen has become the latest Dutch Eredivisie football club to move to reinforce its stadium following last year’s incident at NEC Nijmegen’s Goffertstadion.

Heerenveen has announced that the north stand of its Abe Lenstra Stadion will be reinforced as a “precaution”. The club said that although studies have shown the stand is in order and meets the current standards of the Building Decree, the maximum load in “extreme cases” may exceed those standards.

On the advice of the stadium’s constructor, the north stand will be reinforced as a precaution so that the standing area is adequate for all situations.

Cees Roozemond, general director of SC Heerenveen, said: “The safety of visitors in the Abe Lenstra Stadion is paramount. The stands must be able to support jumping and cheering supporters at all times. We don’t want to leave anything to chance. That is why we are pleased that Sportstad, as the owner of the stadium, is now realising the extra reinforcements at the bottom of the stands.”

NEC was forced to temporarily close Goffertstadion 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. However, a report into the incident by engineering firm RoyalHaskoningDHV recommended that all stadia in the Netherlands conduct checks to see how much load their stands could withstand.

SC Heerenveen’s move comes after Heracles Almelo, which was last season relegated to the Eerste Divisie, in February announced that it would take similar action at its Ervo Asito stadium.

Image: SC Heerenveen