Eredivisionist Almere City tackles stadium after promotion: ‘Have to think bigger’
A mixed zone, technology for VAR, a room for press conferences. At brand-new premier league club Almere City, it must all be realized before the new season begins.
“In the coming weeks we will have a number of meetings about this with the KNVB, then we will start working hard on it this summer,” said a spokesman for the club.
And in the future they want to expand the stadium to more seats than the current 4,500.
‘Arts and crafts’
Almere City is on the rise; interest in the club is traveling wild. “All 3,000 season tickets are already sold out, while we sold 1,700 last year. And there is also an explosion on our social media channels and in demand for merchandise.”
On Instagram, the club grew from 25,000 to 30,000 followers in recent days. As for merchandise, it has already sold 15 percent of last season’s total.
“It wasn’t quite possible to prepare for this,” the spokesman said. “We are now doing that with artifice. We have to think bigger than we were used to until now. There is a longer delivery time on the scarves and caps now, but toward the new season we will be completely up and running.”
Ideally, Almere City would like to expand the stadium like lightning. But that is currently impossible because the environment around the home port is not equipped to accommodate more fans.
“As long as nothing changes in the infrastructure around our stadium, we cannot expand. People do need to be able to get to the stadium properly.” Over the course of next season, Almere plans to look for solutions, and then to look at more capacity in the stadium.
“Our owner (billionaire Lesley Bamberger, ed) has a prominent real estate company, so this is where his specialty does lie. We do it as fast as we can and as slow as we have to. Logistics comes before capacity,” he concluded.