by Emily Marie
Bronx, New York
August 18, 2003
I found de Goffert to be really interesting. Soccer as a spectator sport is much different than anything Americans are used to. Many Americans think "soccer riot" when they hear about the sport. I guess with that mentality, it shouldn't be too surprising it's the security measures of de Goffert that stuck out the most to me (mind you I am a soccer fan). First off, like most of the top Dutch teams, you have to go through metal-detecting turnstyles in order to get to the seats. When you are admitted, you are, like most arenas, at the bottom of the seating area. However here you are also below field level! you enter onto a concourse which has food stands and restrooms on the outer wall and with the field above the inner wall. When you climb the stairs to get to your seats, you notice the concourse serves as a kind of moat to seperate the field from the seats and any possibly unruly fans.
The stadium only holds about 12,000 people, which is about medium-sized in the way of Dutch EreDivisie parks. To get tickets, you are supposed to be the holder of a NEC club or season card (another standard procedure for top clubs in European soccer), but I found that by sending contacting the team before-hand (I used e-mail and snail mail), the team would save a ticket for me. If you do this, you go to the customer service window instead of the ticket kiosks set up a few meters away from the park.
The food isn't great at the park. I had a hamburger and beer at the park, but I'd suggest eating in town before or after the game.
From journal Around the Island