For a country that adores the sports of football, it is not really surprising to have football stadiums across the Netherlands. Aside from the football stadiums with UEFA’s 5-star rating like the Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam and Feijenoord Stadion, also more commonly known as De Kuip, in Rotterdam, there is also another stadium in the Netherlands which is a nice venue not only for football games but also for concerts and other shows.
The GelreDome in Arnhem is home to the football club of Vitesse and has a maximum seating capacity of 34,000 and was also one of the places of the 2000 UEFA European Football Championship or Euro 2000.
On March 25, 1998, the GelreDome football stadium was built and the arena was suited for football games, concerts, shows, and other events. It made history for being the first stadium in the world with a retractable pitch that can be retracted when it is not used during some events. Just like the Amsterdam Arena, it also has a sliding roof, making it the second stadium in Europe to have one.
Since the late 80’s, Karel Aalbers, the former Vitesse chairman, has been planning to build a multifunctional and multipurpose stadium that is much bigger than the team’s former stadium, the Nieuw Monnikenhuizen.
Finally in 1996, with the approaching Euro 2000 championship in mind, the construction of the stadium finally began. Two years later, the stadium opened with a match between home club Vitesse and NAC Breda.
In 2008, the stadium acted as the venue for the UEFA Champions League game between FC Twente and Arsenal. GelreDome was loaned to Twente due to the expansion project of the team’s home stadium, De GrolschVeste. This is the second UEFA Champions league game that was held in the stadium. Following this, two more Champions League game were held in Gelredome, and one of them is another FC Twente game against FC Vaslui during the first leg of their third qualifying round.
Although the stadium was one of the venues of the Euro 2000 and is considered as one of the most modern and largest stadiums in the Netherlands, it was not selected as a venue for the joint Netherlands and Belgium bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup because it failed to meet the requirements of FIFA to have a minimum seating capacity of 44,000.
The GelreDome in Arnhem remains one of the major concert venues in the country and is widely known for its climate control system, a roof that lets no sunshine in, and sound quality.
Due to the many sports or music events, the Gelredome in Arnhem welcomes almost more than a million people and tourists every year. Aside from these events, various conferences and meetings are also held there, making it an effective multifunctional stadium, right according to Aslbers’ vision.