Vitesse Arnhem were founded in 1892 and alongside Sparta Rotterdam they are one of the oldest professional football clubs’ still in existence in the Netherlands.
The roots of the Vitesse name stems from the French word Vitesse, meaning “speed” but the origins of the club colours come from closer to home. The flag of Gelderland is a horizontal tricolour of blue, yellow and black with the latter two colours being that of the club.
It was at the turn of the century that the club kit switched to the colours of black and yellow paying homage to the provincial flag.
Prior to the move to the current day GelreDome, Vitesse played football at a stadium called the Nieuw Monnikenhuize. Although this was a multi-use stadium located in the northern neighbourhood of Arnhem it was mostly only used for football matches.
The stadium was able to hold 12,000 people via a mix of seats and standing. However with the addition of temporary bleachers capacity could be raised to 18,000.
The GelreDome replaced the Nieuw Monnikenhuize as Vitesse’s home ground on 25 March 1998. Planning for a new stadium commenced in the early 1990’s long before the Dutch were awarded the European Championship tournament of 2000 alongside Belgium.
Originally a new stadium had been scheduled to open in 1991 with the structure called the Arnhem Eurodome. The original estimated cost was £35-£40million with large subsidies from the Dutch government, the local province and the Arnhem municipality. However, due to planning issues, confirmation of Euro 2000 and the selling of the original site it was 1998 before the new stadium was opened for football.
The GelreDome has two sliding roofs which cover the entire playing area.
Incorporated within the stands is a retractable stage (a sliding playing field) and cooling/heating system of the entire structure. The ‘false floor’ playing field moves out and in an 11,000-ton platform, a solution that has since been replicated in other stadia worldwide.
The stadium has not been without problems. Effectively the Gelredome is now owned by a private entity, a land developer. The local minicipality had purchased the stadium in 2009 for €19 million, but sold it on again at a fraction of the €75 million paid to build it in 1998.
Making the stadium ‘pay’ stems from its versatility as the stadium holds numerous types of public events every year outside of football.
SBV Vitesse (Stichting Betaald Voetbal Vitesse) – Vitesse Arnhem
GelreDome, Batavierenweg 25 (763.08 km)
6841 HN Arnhem, Netherlands
The GelreDome sits exactly 3.0 km south of Arnhem city centre.
‘Theo Bos’ Zuid