Galgenwaard Stadium is the home of FC Utrecht, the professional soccer club from the Dutch city of Utrecht, which plays at the highest level of professional soccer in the Netherlands, the Eredivisie.
The stadium is characterized by, among other things, a modern main building, in which a lot of glass has been processed and steep, high stands. The total capacity of Stadion Galgenwaard is 23.750 spectators and the soccer fans supporters can take a seat in four stands: the North stand, the South stand, the Bunnikside and the Cityside.
History of Galgenwaard Stadium
The name of the stadium in the Dutch language suggests that executions were carried out at this place in the Middle Ages, but that is certainly not the case. The place was used for hundreds of years for agriculture and horticulture.
The history of the Utrecht-based stadium goes back to the thirties in the last century. After several discussions with the then Ministry of War, who was not in favor of a stadium in Utrecht, the sports complex was finally built and the Utrecht soccer clubs DOS and Hercules played their home games there. In addition, other events were organized such as conferences for Jehovah’s Witnesses, gymnastics events, and athletic competitions.
In 1970, the Utrecht soccer clubs, Velox, Elinkwijk and DOS merged into the new professional football club FC Utrecht and from that moment on the new club used the Galgenwaard Stadium as home base. Partly due to the rise of hooliganism and higher demands in terms of safety and comfort for supporters, the somewhat outdated stadium no longer met the necessary requirements and in 1981 the construction of a new stadium was started.
In August 1982, Nieuw Galgenwaard Stadium was finished and at that time it met the most stringent requirements and was used as an example in the international world of soccer as a stadium for medium-sized clubs. Revolutionary were, among other things, the canals around the soccer pitch, the many exits that allowed the stadium to be evacuated in 3 minutes and the business areas that were located in the stadium.
Nieuw Galgenwaard Stadium was an excellent home ground for over twenty years, but shortly after the turn of the century it was necessary to modernize the stadium, which was done in phases. In the 2004-2005 football season, the renovation activities were completed and the name was changed again to Galgenwaard Stadium.
Lionel Messi in Galgenwaard Stadium
Stadium Galgenwaard is not only used for FC Utrecht matches. Over the years, the Dutch national soccer team also played several friendly matches in Utrecht. In addition, the Dutch women’s team and the Dutch National Junior Team also played qualification matches in the Utrecht-based soccer stadium.
The accommodation also served as the host for the finals of the 2005 Youth World Cup Soccer in the Netherlands. The final took place in Galgenwaard Stadium, where the spectators saw a young Lionel Messi in the final and he made sure, after an excellent performance, that Argentina became youth-world champion.
FC Utrecht Museum
The FC Utrecht Museum is also located in the stadium, where you can view an exhibition of interesting attributes and prizes from the glorious past of FC Utrecht. Interestingly, museum pieces include match-worn shirts, the National Cups of 1985, 2003 and 2004 and the Dutch Super Cup of 2004.
(Sources: FC Utrecht, Eredivisievoetbal.com)