The city of Enschede, arguably the cradle of football in the Netherlands, has a large variety of sports clubs, especially football clubs. There are 18 sports parks in the city with one or more football clubs. Due to the constantly changing number of members and players, several parks and field are not fully occupied, while other parks require more space.
Therefore, the municipality aims to bring together or ‘cluster’ some of the 23 recreational football clubs to several larger sports parks with modern and sustainable facilities. Due to a higher level of cooperation or even a merger of clubs, this should eventually lead to more viable sports clubs. By doing so, the municipality is also able to optimise their investments in future-proof and multifunctional sports facilities, while reducing operational costs. These so-called ‘sports clusters’ will hold multiple clubs who will make use of mostly shared facilities.
In 2020, The Stadium Consultancy has been contracted by the municipality of Enschede as the project lead for this project. Phase 1 was to update and investigate the possible cluster options based on the available sports facilities and the willingness of clubs to cooperate with other clubs and/or to move to another location.
Phase 2 was to determine which locations will be developed as an example for the other parks. In 2021 and 2022, several feasibility studies have been conducted as part of this project, for which public funding has been raised.