Paradigm for a new generation of arenas: the Gelredome, home of the Dutch premiership team Vitesse Arnheim, opened in 1998. At the time, it was not only the first stadium in the world to have a playing surface that could be rolled out; it also featured a sliding roof, air conditioning and an integral shopping arcade. A visit to the stadium becomes a full-blown event. And when the arena is used for concerts, it can accommodate up to 32,000 people. In addition to the 49 VIP boxes, a boulevard with numerous shops and several cafés further adds to the experience.
The sliding pitch, on which the BAM Group holds a patent, is an outstanding technological feat that was subsequently repeated in Gelsenkirchen: by moving the “tray” containing the grass pitch in or out, the sports stadium can be transformed into a concert hall in only a few hours. The 800 ton roof structure, which can close over the entire stadium within 20 minutes, is equally spectacular. Since it is not transparent, a wide range of lighting effects can then be created inside the arena – for example, for ice revues, concerts or TV recordings. The overall project also included the construction of a 2,000 square metre conference centre.