Although a majority in the Leeuwarden council appears to be in favour of the plans to build a new stadium for SC Cambuur, it remains uncertain whether the project will be completed on time.
UPDATE: Thursday, 19 July, 10:36 a.m.
The Leeuwarder Courant reports that the municipal council approved of the current plans on Wednesday afternoon.
Original story follows below:
Last July, the Leeuwarden municipal council voted unanimously in favour of the plans to move forward with building the new stadium for the SC Cambuur football team, which currently plays in the Dutch Eerste Divisie – they were relegated out of the Eredivisie in 2016.
The current stadium, which is located in the Heechterp-Schieringen neighbourhood in Leeuwarden, can hold 10,000 fans and was built in 1936. Plans have been in the works to eventually replace the stadium since at least 2007.
But since then, building plans have already been delayed for at least a year, which is posing new problems. Omrop Fryslan reports that if an agreement cannot be reached among all the involved parties on 20 July, Friese Poort will likely withdraw from the plans, which would put further development in serious jeopardy. Friese Poort wants to start offering courses at the site by 2021.
The most recent best case scenario projects that the stadium complex should be completed at the earliest by the spring of 2019, and the worst case scenario would see construction finished by the spring of 2022.
The Leeuwarder Courant reports that the Leeuwarden municipal council is set to either approve or disapprove of the current plans this week, and the province will decide whether to provide the necessary financial support in September.
Part of the reason that moving forward with the stadium plans has been so difficult is because the area near the World Trade Center in Leeuwarden where it is supposed to be built is not zoned for retailers.
Current estimates for the total costs of building the stadium and facilities for businesses, including an indoor trampoline park, a movie theatre, a mini golf course and cafes, and academic institutions are around 30 million euros, which is around 5 million euros more than the 2014 version of the plans had projected.
Gerrit Jan Faber, director of Intersport Leeuwarden, recently told Omrop Fryslan that the Frisian capital city is not big enough to support two large shopping areas. The city already has one sizeable retail centre – De Centrale, which is located just outside the city centre – and Faber says that unnecessary competition could backfire and damage the chances of either shopping centre remaining in business.
Residents in the area where the stadium is supposed to be constructed told the Leeuwarder Courant that they have not been updated about the plans since at least April. Locals in the neighbourhood are concerned that the construction and ultimate opening of the stadium will cause issues for parking, traffic congestion, and noise and light pollution.
Photo source: Google Maps; Cover: Wikipedia/Stefan Oost