In Amstelwijck, a prominent sight location near the A16 between Rotterdam and Breda, a new stadium will be built for FC Dordrecht. This plan is an initiative of Ballast Nedam and will be executed in cooperation with FC Dordrecht and Van der Valk Hotels; the stadium is designed by the architects ZJA. The complex is a unique combination of business and sports. Apart from a modern stadium with 6.000 seats, which meets all requirements of safety and convenience, the complex will consist of a hotel with 186 rooms, a conference centre, a restaurant, a health club and a casino. With all these collective facilities, the building offers a wide range of possibilities.
Today’s football is big business. Millions of people from all ranks of society are interested in football and it is therefore an attractive industry for entrepreneurs: top-class football is an excellent way to make contact with all kinds of target groups.
In the past year, FC Dordrecht reached a respectable position in the Dutch ‘Gouden Gids division’. This result was achieved in spite of modest financial means, thanks to an ambitious and responsible policy. However, top-class football also requires a top-class accommodation. A modern stadium offers both clubs and sponsors the opportunity to grow and to become more visible; moreover, it is the ideal setting for an evening or afternoon of sports entertainment.
FC Dordrecht has outgrown the current location in many respects. Therefore, Ballast Nedam — an organisation with a great deal of experience in building stadiums — has made an agreement with the football club to examine the feasibility of the plan for new development. The first results were presented to the council of Dordrecht at the end of December. Mayor and aldermen of Dordrecht responded favourably and are awaiting further research results.
Unique in the Netherlands
In order to give the complex its multifunctional character, the project is executed in cooperation with the Van der Valk-concern (Dutch hotel chain). The combination of stadium and hotel with all the accompanying facilities and possibilities is unique in the Netherlands. This combination meets the needs of the various target groups. For example, the plan involves a health club. This club will be accessible not only to the players of FC Dordrecht and the guests of the hotel, but also to the business community at Amsteldijck and other visitors.
All parties involved have a great deal of confidence in the concept and the location. For the city of Dordrecht, the multi-functional stadium entails an increase in visibility, publicity, employment and spin-off. The exclusive design by ZJA from Amsterdam contributes to the identity of both the club and the city.
On the look-out for possible locations for the multifunctional stadium, the following aspects were evaluated: infrastructure, accessibility, parking facilities, opening up or connection for slow traffic, cars and public transport, limited discomfort for the people living in the neighbourhood, spin-off and — last but not least — image.
The location Amstelwijck emerged as the best option. The ideal location between Antwerp and Amsterdam, in the middle of the Drechtsteden area, is also called ‘The gateway to the Randstad’. The site met all the above-mentioned expectations; the NS-railway station to be built in the vicinity is an added plus, as is the setting in a prominent sight location near the entrance of Dordrecht. The site enables the physical combination of the multifunctional complex with other initiatives, but also offers possibilities for independent projects.
The current location of the stadium, the Krommedijk, forms an integral part of the plan and is an important cost centre for the new initiative. Therefore, Ballast Nedam has asked the well-known urban designer Ashok Bhalotra of Kuiper Compagnons to explore the possibilities for redivision.