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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SC Heerenveen

Israel 0 Belgium 1
UEFA U-21 Championship Group A
Abe Lenstra Stadium, Heerenveen, Holland

Abe LenstraSC Heerenveen have taken an interesting approach to managing visiting fan’s, ensuring that they are whisked into and out of the stadium without any possibility of physical interaction with the home support. A slip road off the adjacent motorway is used to deposit visiting supporters at a series of dedicated turnstiles. The turnstiles lead to a fenced-in bridge that takes the fans over a local access road that runs around the stadium and straight into the all-seated visitor’s enclosure in one corner of the ground. Voila - the visiting hoolie delivered straight to his seat without so much as chance of making contact with Terra Ferma let alone any like minded Friesan’s.

Abe Lenstra

The Abe Lenstra Stadium, named after a former SC Heerenveen player from the 1950’s, has a capacity of 26,800 which is a thousand or so more than the population of the town itself. The only other European stadium that can lay claim to a having a larger capacity than the number of it’s town’s inhabitants is the Stade Felix Bollaert home of RC Lens in France.

Abe LenstraFirst constructed in 1993, the stadium has steadily grown from an initial capacity of 14,300 to the quite pleasant stadium that it is today. In recent years an experimental standing terrace, with a capacity of 1,000, was introduced, and has proved such a success (with no apparent safety issues) that it may be increased in size.

Away from footie Heerenveen boasts the world’s first 400 metre indoor ice skating rink which has a capacity of 12,500 and was first opened in 1986. Apart from that there’s not too much else to say about the town. Translated Heerenveen means ‘Lord and Peat’ after the three lords that formed the town in 1551 as a centre for the production of peat and turf. Oh, and it has a rather nice windmill tucked away down some leafy residential streets just to the north of centre.

Abe Lenstra

As for the tonight’s football – instantly forgettable dross. Belgium survived the 18th minute dismissal of Marouane Fellaini, for a second bookable offence, to record a one-nil win. Bizarrely Scottish referee Craig Thomson also red carded Belgium’s Anthony Vanden Borre, thinking he had previously booked the forward, only to stop the player from leaving the field when he had realise his mistake.

Abe LenstraKevin Mirallas popped-up just a few minutes later (the 82’ minute to be precise) to hit home a low shot past the Israeli ‘keeper, after having been denied earlier by the woodwork. And so, to an end, came our run of 4 hours and 22 minutes of U-21 Championship action without a goal. Hoorah!

Panoramas of the Abe Lenstra can be found here and here.

Match Number: 1378

posted by chevblue at 9:59 pm






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