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De Grolsch Veste (The Grolsch Fortress, previously known as Arke Stadion) is the stadium of football club FC Twente. It is located in Enschedemarker, Netherlandsmarker, at the Business & Science Park, near the University of Twentemarker. The stadium has an all-seated capacity of 24,000 with a standard pitch heating system and has a promenade instead of fences around the stands.

De Grolsch Veste replaced the old Diekman Stadionmarker as FC Twente's home ground on 22 March 1998. Plans had been afoot to expand and to renovate the old and now demolished Diekman Stadion, however, with a growing fan capacity and with arguments that the location of the Diekman stadium was not strategic enough, the idea was conceived to build a new arena for the FC Twente fans. The Diekman ground had also faced problems with its seating plans as a result of the FIFAmarker regulations which imposes a necessity to construct a seating tribune behind each goal post.

The cost of the construction was estimated to be around 33 million guilders and took fourteen months to complete, with its foundation stone having been laid on 31 January 1997. Due to the tight budget available, the layout of the stadium was constructed in such a way that future expansions can be possible without the necessity to tear down entire tribunes.

The first match played at the stadium was a historic 3-0 victory by the home team against PSV on 10 May 1998 in an Eredivisie match.

On 1 October 2006, the stadium was updated with two big flatscreen video-walls.

In May 2008 it was announced that the Arke Stadion will be renamed to De Grolsch Veste with beer brewery Grolsch as sponsor. The brewery is located in the club's hometown Enschedemarker. The name "Veste" (fortress) is a reference to Groenlomarker, a former fortified town that was often besieged and where Grolsch was first brewed.

Expansion

In 2006 plans were unfolded to increase the stadium capacity to 24,000 seats. The expansion started in January 2008 and was completed in September 2008, just in time for the start of the 2008-2009 season.

Twente is aiming to start a new phase in the stadium expansion in May 2010. This should result in a capacity of 34000 seats and should be finished in September 2010. There are also serious ideas to expand the stadium even further to 40,000 spectators in 2011.

Stadium from the outside


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