De Moderne Kuip (DMK), an organisation that has campaigned for the redevelopment of the home of Dutch Eredivisie football club Feyenoord, has spelled out its fresh vision for such a venture.
DMK’s efforts date back as far as 2020, during which time it put forth its masterplan for De Kuip in parallel with the now abandoned Feyenoord City scheme. Feyenoord officially dropped plans to develop a new stadium in April 2022, with the club also ruling out redeveloping De Kuip amid the economic climate at that time.
The Rotterdam club has been weighing up its future at De Kuip, its home since the stadium opened in 1937, for more than a decade. In 2017, the green light was given for the development of Feyenoord City, a major project that intended to redevelop the area around De Kuip with housing, while building a new 63,000-seat stadium on the banks of the River Maas.
However, those plans ran into problems, with Feyenoord ultimately putting an end to the venture. DMK is a consortium of companies that have called for the modernisation of De Kuip and is spearheaded by Erwin Eekelaar, owner and CEO of IT company Netsetup/Topaas Software, and Adriaan Geuze, founder and director of architecture firm West 8.
The two businessmen have now spelled out their thinking for De Kuip in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, which states that local authorities and Feyenoord have been informed of the plans.
The vision encompasses a three-phase project that would initially seek to update facilities at the stadium before embarking on significant modernisation work within the current capacity. De Kuip currently has a seating capacity of around 51,000, with a third phase hoping to expand this to 63,000.
The goal is also to create a new district of Rotterdam, where it is attractive to live, work, learn and engage in recreational activities, with De Kuip as a connecting landmark. In DMK’s plan, the immediate vicinity of the stadium would be tackled first.
Geuze said: “Walk around De Kuip. What is the perception? It is a restless police world of fences and asphalt. Make it human, manageable and greener. Of course, the mayor and the police must be able to intervene if necessary. But it is forgotten that the vast majority of supporters go to football because it is fun. That is the starting point.”
With regards urban development, Geuze said DMK will seek to preserve the existing infrastructure. “There is a river, a dyke and a railway line. Leave it alone, because if you mess with it, you will be hundreds of millions worse off. And that was exactly what they wanted to do with Feyenoord City.”
As far as De Kuip is concerned, adding a third tier is currently not on the agenda, according to Eekelaar. He said: “A third tier is not a priority, but is always possible. First, renovate and modernise the current stadium. Better facilities and new sanitary facilities. New seats and aisles, so that people can go to the toilet faster or get a beer. We can build that in phases, so that Feyenoord can continue to play football in De Kuip.”
DMK’s plan is projected to cost around €100m (£87.9m/$106.3m). DMK said it can invest €15m, with the De Verre Bergen foundation contributing €25m. The project is also seeking the €40m contribution the Municipality of Rotterdam was due to make to the Feyenoord City scheme.