Club: FC Utrecht | Opening: 1936 | Capacity: 24,500 seats
History and description
Stadion Galgenwaard was built in the mid 1930s to serve as the home for Utrecht clubs DOS and Hercules.
When the plans for the stadium were first presented, the then Ministry of War objected as the stadium was planned at a site surrounded by fortresses that served as a defence line for the West of the country.
However, the Ministry dropped their protest and Stadion Galgenwaard officially opened on the 21st of May 1936. The stadium was bowl-shaped at that time and included a cycling track around the pitch.
In the 1970s, after three Utrecht clubs had merged to form FC Utrecht, the stadium had become severely outdated with few seats and cover, and could not cope with the increasing hooliganism of the times.
The last match at the old Galgenwaard was played on the 21st of April 1981. After the match the Utrecht fans demolished the stadium in what is considered to be one of the lows of hooliganism in the Netherlands.
In just a few months, the stadium got extensively redeveloped into a rectangular shape with four separate stands at each end.
The Galgenwaard was seen as one of the first modern stadiums of Europe, with no perimeter fencing, a moat separating the fans from the pitch, and offices housed in the stadium buildings. It served as one of the prime examples for future UEFA and FIFA regulations, and was mentioned in the Taylor Report as an example for future stadium design.
However, only 20 years later design standards had progressed to the extent that the stadium was again outdated and in 2001 a new redevelopment program started that saw the gradual reconstruction of all four stands. The completely renovated stadium was finished in the summer of 2004.
(photos of the present Stadion Galgenwaard below)
Stadion Galgenwaard is located in the east of the city of Utrecht, about 2.5 kilometres from the city centre and 3 kilometres from the central railway station.
If arriving by car from the A12 motorway (which runs south of the city), take exit 18. Follow for Hoograven-Lunetten (north) onto the Waterlinieweg. Continue for almost 3 kilometres and take the exit Galgenwaard. The stadium will lie right in front of you.
If arriving from the A2 (north and south of the country), take the A12 eastbound at junction Oudenrijn (direction Arnhem), and follow as above.
If coming from the A27 or A28 north, follow for Utrecht Centrum at junction Rijnsweerd and then the signs to the stadium.
Various bus lines connect the stadium with the central train station and city centre as the stadium lies close to a university and hospital complex.
Take, for example, line 12 in the direction of Uithof UMC AZU, and get off at stop Stadion Galgenwaard. The ride only takes 8 minutes and buses leave many times per hour.
Bus 41 and 241 in the direction of Wijk bij Duurstede are equal alternatives, as is bus 43 in the direction of Driebergen. Bus 41 and 43 run less regularly though.
Address: Herculesplein 241, 3584 AA Utrecht
Tickets for FC Utrecht matches can be bought online, at the Fanshop at the stadium, at the Fanshop at shopping centre Hoog Catharijne (adjacent to the central rail station), or via the Ticketbox sales outlets.
FC Utrecht require possession of a Utrecht Club Card to be able to buy tickets for a certain number of matches that are considered high-risk for fan violence.
If tickets remain available, these can also be bought on the gate on the day of the match. However, the same club card requirements apply. FC Utrecht only sell out the occasional high-profile match.
Tickets range in price from €20.00 for a seat behind one of the goals to €33.00 for a central seat at the main stand. Prices are increased for three high-profile matches to between €27.50 and €40.50.
Relevant Internet links