FC Groningen - Euroborg - Capacity: 20,000 All seater
The Stadium – Euroborg Boumaboulevard 41, Groningen As is the trend with many Dutch clubs, Groningen are now proud owners of a spanking new stadium, located to the south of the city centre. The new ground, known as the Green Cathedral by locals opened its doors in 2005 and is a real multi-purpose venue with a Cinema, Casino, Supermarket and a School within the gates of the stadium.
It is similar in design to Heerenveen’s new stadium with four enclosed stands offering excellent views from all of the seats. The main stand is the only one with just a single tier, although it does have a double row of Executive boxes. The club’s original stadium was the Oosterpark, which was opened in 1933 and housed just over 11,000 spectators. The homely venue simply wasn’t big enough to accommodate the demand for seats to watch the club and so finance was put in place to build the new stadium in 2003.
In June 2007 the stadium will be used to host games in the Under 21 European Championships, including the group games between the Netherlands and Portugal as well as the final on Saturday 23rd June.
Who Plays There? - FC Groningen - http://www.fcgroningen.nl Amazingly, for a team that is now enjoying such as good run in the Eredivisie, their history is very short. Formed in June 1971 to become the last city in the Netherlands to have a top flight football team, the club have been in the first division for most of its thirty five year history.
The club have a good youth academy, and were responsible for the development of the Koeman brothers – Ronald and Erwin who are now top flight managers back in the Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord respectively, as well as the starter club for current Chelsea star Arhen Robben. The club have never won a major honour although in 1991 they finished 3rd in the Eredivisie. They were also cup runners up in 1989, beaten 4-1 by PSV Eindhoven.
On both occasions the club were able to enter European football. Their first ever appearance in the European Cup Winners Cup in 1989 where they lost an amazing second round tie to Partizan Belgrade 6-5 on aggregate. It is quite ironic that this season it was also Partizan to ended Groningen’s participation in the UEFA Cup with a 4-3 defeat over the two games. Since then European football has not been kind to the team as they have tended to reach the second round on a number of occasions, going no further. Last season the club finished 5th which put them in a play off for a Champions League spot. Unfortunately, two goals in the final few minutes against Ajax saw the team from Amsterdam progress into the lucrative Champions League.
After last season’s excellent fifth place finish, the club has started this season well. Their home form has been excellent in the run up to Christmas, and the team sit just behind local rivals Heerenveen in 7th place. Every so often the club does throw up a rogue result or two, such as the 7-1 defeat to Twente in November 2006.
How to get to the Euroborg The Stadium is located in the south of the city centre, adjacent to the E22/A7 motorway. The ground has parking for thousands of cars, meaning that the car is definitely king here. If you are coming from the centre of the city, then there are special shuttle buses laid on from the central station from 2 hours before kick off. A railway station is due to open in 2007 to the west of the stadium on Helperpark.
For a more detailed map of Groningen, as well as a view on who plays close to them, go to Footiemap.com to access their excellent European Football map.
How to get a ticket for the Euroborg Since the move from the Oosterpark stadium in 2005, the crowds have flocked to the new stadium. For the first time in their history they sold out games on more than three occasions, thus making it essential to try and get your tickets before you arrive at the stadium. As with all other clubs in the Netherlands you will need to get a club card from the club before you can purchase a ticket. Details of Groningen’s entry requirements can be found on the official club site. The card will cost €5. Tickets for home games can be purchased in person from the club shop or via http://www.ticketbox.nl. Ticket prices range in price from €20 in the top tier behind the goal to €32 in the Eerste ring. You can also try agencies such as http://www.worldticketshop.com who sell seats for normal league games fro around €45 without the need to buy a Club Card.
Around the Euroborg The plan for the stadium is to have a 24 x 7 development that encompasses health, recreation and education. Currently the school, supermarket and casino have been opened, with the leisure centre due to open in the not too distant future. Finally, a huge office development will be completed to the west of the stadium. There are a few temporary food and drink outlets opened up in time for each home game, but apart from that, and the supermarket, there is little around the stadium.
Getting around The centre of Groningen is very compact and walking is really the only option. Buses radiate from the central station, with a €2.40 three strip ticket enough to take you out to the countryside around Paterswolde. For central journeys then the fare is €1 – payable to the driver on boarding the bus.