Neptunus Family Stadium (map it)
Abraham van Stolkweg 31
Rotterdam, Netherlands 3041 JA
Year Opened: 1999
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Sander Kolsloot, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
A new baseball stadium is a novelty in the Netherlands. So when the rumour spread that Rotterdam was building one, I was pretty excited. I was about 14 years old at the time and I had dreams of the big MLB ballparks that I had seen on television. Neptunus Family Stadium was therefore somewhat of a disappointment. I’ve visited the place multiple times before, but this is the first time as a Stadium Journey correspondent.
The Neptunus Family Stadium was built in 1998-1999 and was taken into use in April 1999. It is thought to be the most modern baseball stadium of Europe. As it was funded by the local municipality, they were more concerned in keeping costs low, than actually looking at perfect examples in minor league cities as Little Rock, AR or probably any Arizona Spring ballpark.
The stadium can host 2,500 spectators in the normal seating area. On top of the stadium, they added 26 covered ‘business seats’, which brings the capacity to 2,760 total. When I was there, it was during the European Championships Baseball. They added extra seating, bringing the total capacity to approximately 5,000 spectators.
The stadium is normally utilized by the Door Neptunus team of Rotterdam and regularly by the Dutch National Team.
It has been host to the World Championships Baseball in 2005 (it hosted all the games).
For my most recent visit, the Dutch team played against Sweden in the rubber game in their semi-final series.
The outlook of the stadium is good, but they’ve made a major architectural mistake by placing a large kind of arcade between the lower tier and the upper tier. This blocks the view for spectators on the first row of the upper tier.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Normally the food and beverage section is somewhat scarce in Dutch baseball stadiums. Although we are not fond of extraordinary eating while watching any sport (except wining and dining in business seating during football), the normal offering of food is horrible. They tried to add some extras for this particular tournament, in which they somehow succeeded. You had a choice of various snacks, hamburgers and other sandwiches. In the bar area you could get a wide variety of drinks, for reasonable prices. Beers were €2.50, food was €4 for a sandwich and €5 for a hamburger.
The downside: You have to pay to use the restroom (€0,50). Downer.
Normally during Dutch Team baseball games, there is a fan section and the atmosphere is great. In 2005, when the Dutch played Korea in the same venue, the crowd was buzzing and the atmosphere was electric.
This day, the crowd was small, a couple hundred people maybe. There was no real atmosphere, nobody was really cheering on, and maybe the fact that it was a complete rout by the Dutch didn't add to that.
Funny enough, there was one guy, Swede, who shouted 'Go Go Sweden' somewhat every 1/3 of an inning. He brought atmosphere to the visiting side of the stadium, but except for that, it was rather dull.
The site of the stadium probably doesn't help the atmosphere. It's rather remote. I don't know what they thought when they chose the spot for this stadium. It is right next to one of the problem areas in Rotterdam, the 'Spangen' neighborhood. There are no real bars or restaurants in the immediate vicinity and the other side of the stadium resembles an industrial zone with an auto mall next to it.
It really is too bad, especially because there's a football stadium somewhat further down the road which has a lot of atmosphere.
Dutch fans are knowledgeable about the game of baseball. It is not a normal night out for people, as they really come here to attend the sport. I saw some familiar faces from my visit to Haarlem, which showed me people travel with their team.
Dutch are known as being dressed in all out orange, but none of that was true during this visit.
The stadium is hardly accessible. There is public transit, but no major rail station or subway station. It is rather remote from the city. Parking is an absolute nightmare. There's very limited parking around the venue, but it is easy to get there from the major highway (A20/A13).
The return on investment is low. You'd pay €15 to see a 6 inning game (mercy rule was in place) in a rather dull and dreadful atmosphere.
There are no extras when you make a visit to Neptunus Family Stadium for a Dutch National baseball team game. It is a real shame.
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