Netherlands-based football club Feyenoord has scrapped plans for a new stadium in Rotterdam, after cost estimates from the project developer BAM soared.
The Feyenoord City project, which included a new 63,000 capacity stadium on the banks of the River Nieuwe Maas as well as shops and houses, was originally projected to cost £385M, but BAM informed the club that the price would be significantly increased. This is due not only to increasing building costs, but BAM’s new direction for the project, which will see the price reach at least £425M.
The construction company also recently announced a new policy by with they will withdraw from any projects they consider to be risky.
An official announcement is yet to be made by either Feyenoord or BAM, but sources close to the club say they are outraged at the developer’s new proposals and will cancel the project. This is inevitable, especially considering its financial situation.
Local sports journalist Arno Vermeulen has said that “Feyenoord is financially on the edge of an abyss”. The club is already £8.5M in tax debt and faces the repayment of a £25M bridging loan to Goldman Sachs if the new stadium plan does not go ahead. Feyenoord’s current stadium De Kuip is on the line as collateral should they fail to make payments.
Fans of Feyenoord will be in quandary. They opposed the building of the new stadium, preferring to stay in the beloved De Kuip. However, it could soon be owned by the American firm.
If the club manages to keep hold of the stadium, it will look to expand it in lieu of a whole new project. This in itself is likely to cost around £200M, and will mean reduced capacity – and income – while the stadium expansion project is undertaken.
BY ROB HAKIMIAN