One of the most beautiful facades in football, a cosy and modern feel, and friendly family vibes from the stands. Het Kasteel is a Dutch icon.
Club: Sparta Rotterdam | Opening: 1916 | Capacity: 11,000 seats
History and description
In the early 20th century, Sparta was one of the most successful clubs of the Netherlands when they decided to build a proper new stadium.
Het Kasteel, officially called Sparta Stadion, opened on 14 October 1916 with a friendly between Sparta and Rangers FC. It was the first club-owned stadium in the Netherlands.
The most characteristic aspect of the new stadium was its pavilion in the shape of a castle (“kasteel”), inspired by a castle that had stood at the site centuries earlier. Due to a lack of building materials, the planned corner towers got replaced by simple wooden entrances.
The stadium got further developed in the late 1920s with new wooden stands, but then remained more or less the same for the next decades.
In the 1950s, Sparta presented plans for a redeveloped stadium with a capacity of 50,000, but finally had to settle for a more modest redevelopment. Two new stands got built on both sides, resulting in a capacity of 30,000 places.
In the following decades, the state of the much-too-large stadium slowly deteriorated, though some small renovation works were performed in the early 1990s.
Talk remained of building a new stadium in another part of Rotterdam, possibly to be shared with Excelsior, but in the end it was decided to rebuild Het Kasteel at its present site. Works started in 1999.
The only remaining part of the old stadium is the castle pavilion, the rest got demolished and replaced with four new enclosed all-seater stands. As the pitch got turned 90 degrees, the pavilion was moved from one of the ends to the centre of one of the sides.
(photos of the present Het Kasteel below)
How to get to Het Kasteel
Het Kasteel is located in the Spangen area in the west of Rotterdam at just under 3 kilometres from Rotterdam’s main railway station and the city centre.
Het Kasteel is a 5 to 10-minute walk away from metro stop Marconiplein. The stop can be reached with metro line A, B, and C, which can all be boarded at stop Beurs in the city centre.
Alternatively, you can catch tram 8 from the main railway station or any of the various city centre stops (e.g. Beurs or Euromast). Take the tram in the direction of Spangen, and get off right in front of the stadium at stop Spartastraat. The tram runs in quite a roundabout way, which means it takes 30 minutes to arrive.
Tram 21 and 23 go in a more direct way, though require a few more minutes walking. Take one of the trams from the main railway station (direction Woudhoek or Holy) and get off at stop PC Hooftplein, from where it is a short walk to the stadium. The journey takes 12 minutes.
Address: Spartapark Noord 1, 3027 VW Rotterdam
Tickets for Sparta Rotterdam matches can be bought online, or in person at the Fanshop at Het Kasteel.
Tickets are also available at the Fanshop from two hours before the start of the match. Sparta, however, does sell out the occasional match so it is recommended to book in advance.
Sparta may occasionally require possession of a Sparta Club Card to be able to buy tickets, though most matches tickets go on general sale.
Tickets range in price from €15.00 for a seat behind the goal to €25.00 for a seat at the main stand.
Het Kasteel stadium tours
Sparta Rotterdam offer guided stadium tours to groups of at least 10 people. The tours include a visit to the Sparta museum.
For more information or bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org. The tour costs €5.00 per person.
Photos of Het Kasteel
Relevant Internet links
Sparta-rotterdam.nl – Official website of Sparta Rotterdam.
Rotterdam.info – Website of the Rotterdam tourist board.
RET.nl – Rotterdam public transport information.
9292ov.nl – Public transport journey planner.