ROTTERDAM – The first match resulted in the brand new stadium Feyenoord to a traffic chaos on an unprecedented scale. It virtually the entire city traffic in Rotterdam stood idle for hours. Cars were rows in some places thick side, leaving thousands of people sometimes more than an hour late came for the game against Belgium. Orange won the match 1-0.

Yet after not scoring Leen Vente (Feijenoord) the talk. Everyone was talking about the (predicted) traffic chaos. Attention was drawn to the large crowd that (by car) the southern shore from the center through the Meuse bridge had. People who predicted problems, were given the same.

In the Willems bridge over the Meuse was only one lane available for tens of thousands of cars that wanted to go to the stadium. Behind that was the bottleneck traffic rijendik up. At the Westzeedijk were cars with several rows side by side, according to a reporter of the Hague Courant.

“For example, motorists drove the Westzeedijk in 8 rows deep, but on the bridges was all in one row are squeezed, so therefore it had to create confusion.”

( Haagsche Courant, 03-05-1937 )

But in the South was deteriorating. Many people chose eggs for their money and walked the final kilometers to the stadium. other, the persistent, sometimes came more than three minutes late for the start of the race. The start was delayed fifteen minutes anyway, because the Belgian opponent was stuck in traffic. = 750
Traffic on the Willemsbrug in Rotterdam, Photographer: Unknown, National Archives / Anefo. License: Public Domain. The bridge proved to be the bottleneck, whereby crashed traffic direction De Kuip.

At the stadium traffic cops trying to steer everything smoothly. That seemed to go well, until such time as the starting time of the race came closer. The Kreekweg would people when their car simply have to stand on street, and then run to the stadium. Well-intentioned police officers was not attracted.

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How this could be so wrong? At the opening of the stadium in March, with the match against Beerschot, has all gone well. But then there were only 37.000 people in the stadium and there was emphatically called not to come to the stadium by car.

Even now many people came with bike, tram or walking to the stadium, but the police that about gambling 40.000 People still went by car to the stadium. And there was especially Maasbrug not calculated.

The stadium management meanwhile, wonders whether the public also may not have done more to prevent problems.

"One should not eat quietly at the Coolsingel and then leave for two hours, and at three o'clock start the contest "

(Mr.. Hylkema of N.V.. Feyenoord Stadium against the People's Daily)

There was much criticism of the presence of trams, which undisturbed thousands of people could deliver it to the stadium. But it did result in the Meuse bridge was less visible to traffic.


The conclusion that the baptism of fire for the Feyenoord stadium failed, broad support. As long as there is not a second crossing, as planned Maastunnel, not seem top matches at De Kuip to be played.

Haagsche Courant think the KNVB will nevertheless also once will scratch behind the ears when allocating international matches at Rotterdam. That is unfortunate, For the match against Belgium was the first match in Rotterdam since 1909.

There have been proposals to resolve the problems in the future. Then, during the exhibition contest against the great English Arsenal chaos in any case be less.

Hoe ging het verder?

The KNVB did not participate in the call by some newspapers no national team to allocate more to Rotterda. In autumn, the World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg was with 4-0 recovered in the Cockpit. A few months later, the Belgians came back to Rotterdam. This time they lost 7-2.

The traffic problems were quickly vanished. There was more room for cars on the Maasbrug, prior to the contest. Also went boating lake car ferries to bring people to the other side. Through traffic was banned.

Possibly anticipated visitors to the stadium also the problems before Netherlands - Belgium and fewer people went by car to the stadium, it is impossible to monitor.

Two weeks later Feyenoord played a league match against Go Ahead Deventer. When the traffic problems were much less. Around the match against Arsenal, there are even no problems more.


“Rotterdam was the movement not to Many came too late in their places”. “Haagsche courant“. ‘s-Gravenhage, 03-05-1937

The Telegraph“. Amsterdam, 03-05-1937

“Netherlands takes revenge. The Belgians 1-0 beaten. One of our side unsatisfactory contest. Vente scored the only goal. – The traffic was not right.”. “Delftsche current“. Regional / local, 03-05-1937

“The little traffic ended”. “The Fatherland : state- and literary newspaper“. ‘s-Gravenhage, 03-05-1937.

The popular newspaper : newspaper for Netherlands“. Amsterdam, 03-05-1937, p. 1.

Text: Dave Datema and Allard Schellens

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 08

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