- Michael Rusignuolo
XLLease Park Dorrestein - BSC Quick
Photos by Michael Rusignuolo, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
XLLease Park Dorrestein Dorresteinsesteeg 2, 3817 GC Amersfoort, Netherlands
BSC Quick website XLLease Park Dorrestein website
Year Opened: 1961 Capacity: 1,000
Organized baseball in the central Netherlands’ city of Amersfoort started in 1961 as an offshoot of the Quick football (soccer) club. Four baseball fields were cut out of an area just to the north of the main football pitch at Sportpark Dorrestein, and in just a decade, the team had worked its way up to the top level of Dutch baseball, Honkbal Hoofdklasse.
Due to the whims of a football-like relegation and elevation system, the Quick were in and out of the top-level of competition several times, but they have been back in the Honkbal Hoofdklasse since 2014. Just before their last call-up, they had to give a baseball field back to their parent football club, but were compensated in modernizations to the main baseball field, including lighting for night games and other improvements, sponsored by the parent sporting club and an agreement with a Dutch car rental service for the newly renamed XLLease Park.
XLLease Park is a stand-out in Honkbal Hoofdklasse, a small, recently updated facility with better than average food options in an active area with good access all-around.
[All prices are in Euros. At the time of writing, one Euro is worth about $1.15.]
Food & Beverage 4
In nearly the entire Dutch league, the only food and drink concessions in the ballpark are in the team’s clubhouse, where a bar and grill and perhaps a small separate food kiosk serve up the goods. The Quick not only have that, but also a separate food grill concession that sets it apart.
There’s a normal selection of Dutch sports food on offer in the clubhouse, including hot dogs, frites, toasti sandwiches, and Dutch meatballs (all €2.50 and under). There is also a stand-alone concession behind home plate on the third base side for the Quick Big Burger, a large fresh-grilled burger with all the trimmings, €4 without cheese and €4.50 with.
The Quick have some of the widest alcohol choices in the league. Various iterations of Heineken and Amstel (€2.50 and under, pitchers for €11) are available, along with wine (€3.50) and various hard liquors (€2.50 small/€3.50 large). Coca-Cola is the non-alcoholic drink family of choice.
You’re in The Netherlands. Grab a Heineken. Or a pitcher if you’re really thirsty. Since it is one of the only specialty concessions in Dutch baseball (not to mention a pretty tasty burger), snatch up a Quick Big Cheeseburger to chow down on while you watch the game.
As with many ballparks in Honkbal Hoofdklasse, XLLease Park is located in a suburban “sportpark” where there are fields for many sports. The Dorrestein park is right next to a farm, and a short walk can have you looking at cows and livestock before or after the game.
XLLease Park is one of the most recently updated and nicer parks in the league. While most of the ballparks are about Rookie-level in the US minors, this certainly reaches A-ball levels. The main entrance is right by the small parking lot, leading out to the plaza behind the field. In a unique look, several stacked shipping crates form the backdrop to home plate, with the top levels opened up for the press box and a VIP area. Four rows of wooden bleachers run behind home plate from about halfway to first to halfway to third base. A second, separate bleacher is located by third base and the visiting dugout.
The simple electric scoreboard sits in right-center field, and the outfield wall topped with advertisements looks out over a green treeline for its length. The clubhouse is located beyond third base and solidly in a foul ball zone, so the entire clubhouse and deck outside are covered in netting to prevent injuries. On the patio are the small team store, selling general baseball merchandise, and picnic tables with ashtrays to accommodate the many active smokers who still populate The Netherlands.
As is the case in most Honkbal Hoofdklasse games, there are no mascots or between-innings entertainment that permeate all levels of US baseball. You get in-stadium PA announcements, batter walk-up music, and the Seventh Inning Stretch, period. Since this is a step up from club ball, however, there are some nice vestiges of sportsmanship. Each batter coming to the plate for the first time usually shakes the hand of the umpire and the opposing catcher.
Grab a seat wherever suits you. There is some shade in the seats behind home plate on the first base side, so if you’re looking to escape the summer sun, that is your best bet.
The central Dutch city of Amersfoort, as the name implies, is a former medieval fortified city. Unlike many Honkbal Hoofdklasse ballparks, XLLease Park is quite close to the city center, with a wealth of activities for history and art lovers, as well as many tourist amenities.
There are a few restaurants close to the park, with dozens more in the city center, especially in the northwest district. Bindicafe vega(n), Dutch Tollius, and Sally’s Indonesian Kitchen are to the west of the park, and just down the street is Cafetaria Desmond. The short drive to downtown yields many more choices.
Art lovers are in for a treat near the Quick. Right by the park is the National Gallery The Netherlands, and nearby are the SMAAK Foundation, Musiom, and The Mondriaan House. History buffs will have plenty to do in the old medieval fort city, especially at the Museum Flehite, Muurhuizen, and the Koopelport City Gate. And with a little bit of a drive, kids will love the Amersfoort Zoo.
Most of the hotels are at the city center under ten minutes away, but there are a couple closer to the park. Van der Valk Hotel Leusden is just to the northeast, and the Best Western Plus and Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant are to the west. Northwest in the center of town are over a dozen more hotels to pick from.
Baseball (or honkbal, as it is known locally) is very much a fringe sport in The Netherlands, and for all of Europe for that matter. The Dutch Honkbal Hoofdklasse is one of the only semipro/professional leagues on the continent, sharing the distinction with the Italian Baseball League.
The Quick returned to top-level Honkbal Hoofdklasse five years ago and seem to draw the average Dutch baseball crowds (between 100-250 people per game). After games and practices at the surrounding fields end, the players and spectators come over to watch the top-level men play their games. Another out-of-the-ordinary status quo is that there are usually pet dogs at every game. It is a welcome change for dog lovers, less so if you don’t like them.
Local fans fill the stand behind home plate, and the visiting fans (of which there are a healthy number given the ease of access to the park) tend to congregate on the benches down the third baseline.
XLLease Park is quick and convenient to get to from most of the main cities in the country, and it is a snap to get around once you arrive.
The park is a short bus ride from Amersfoort Centraal Station. Syntus Stadsbus 17 will get you to stop Haydnstraat, Amersfoort (€1.54) in about ten minutes. Car ride, cab, or ride share from the city center is just about 6 minutes. Utretcht to Amersfoort is about 15 minutes by train, Amsterdam is about 45 minutes away by train, and Rotterdam an hour. It is just under an hour’s drive from Rotterdam, a half-hour from Amsterdam, and 20 minutes from Utrecht.
There is a small parking lot by the ballpark, and there is plenty of free bicycle parking. Cabs and ride shares can drop you off right at the park entrance.
You can enter the park through one of two gates, and there is no problem getting in, since there is no ticket line. Once inside, the park is wide walkways with few choke points, making it quite easy to get around.
Return on Investment 4
There’s no charge to get into the park, so you can’t really argue with that.
All the alcoholic drinks (with the exception of pitchers) are €3.50 and under. All the food is €2.50 and under, except for the Quick Big Burger (at €4.50). You just can’t beat these prices.
As with all the Dutch stadiums, extras are at a minimum. The clubhouse has a selection of baseball memorabilia, as well as club trophies and awards. There are also a selection of bar games (foosball, darts) not found in most other clubhouses in the league.
A mural on the side of one of the buildings has the team’s two retired numbers (11 and 33), and the park name is in a mural on the back of one of the dugouts.
As Dutch clubhouse personnel are almost all volunteers, they are polite and helpful to a person and are always glad to talk to and assist visitors.
While you will never confuse it with an MLB facility, XLLease Park is a gem in Honkbal Hoofdklasse, a great value that checks all the boxes for an enjoyable baseball experience with plenty of amenities and things to do in the area after the game.