Sixty acres of woodland and heathland changed in the thirties by the effort of Nijmegen unemployed in a spacious park, including provision of sports fields, a stadium, a teahouse and a zoo. The new Goffertpark went on Saturday, July 8, 1939 open to the public.
Like many other Dutch municipalities Nijmegen in the thirties was hit hard by the global economic crisis. The number of unemployed went up to 29 percent now, the downtown became even more than half of workers without work. The support costs rose alarmingly. Through major projects in road construction waterof, dike reinforcements or park the Empire tried to keep people at work. Often it was to heavy physical work, for which more than seventy percent of the normal salary received. Thus were unemployed Nijmegen already used in the construction of the Maas-Waal canal and the construction of the Waal bridge.
The plans for the Goffertpark were part of the General Expansion of Nijmegen, prepared by planning early thirties A. Siebers. This expansion included a network of ring roads and radials, following the canals around the old town. Districts should be provided with green strips, parks and playgrounds. And in the southwest of the city would be around the old farm Goffert The Volkspark come for a great recreational and sporting activities. Elsewhere in the Netherlands when these parks were built, such as the Hague and Amsterdam Forest Zuiderpark. On the insistence of Mayor J. A.H. Steinweg took the Empire in the context of the construction costs of unemployment relief Goffertpark itself. From the spring of 1935 there were over 160 unemployed people to work for a fee of 35 cents per hour. Although the construction of the park was used the natural slope of land, were still 600,000 cubic metres of sand are moved. For as many people into work, but this did not happen with excavators with shovels and wheelbarrows. By far the hardest job was digging the six metres deep pit for the stadium, which it nicknamed "the bloedkuul" remained. The park has been throughout the years a venue for public events in Nijmegen and in recent years also for concerts.
The park is inscribed as a municipal monument.
The stadium, with athletics and cycling, became the home of football in 1939, when N.E.C. moved there. Over the years, there were various events and performances. In 1999, sixty years after the opening, park and stadium were thoroughly refurbished and modernized.
Artists, including AC/DC, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Coldplay, Deftones, Guns N' Roses, Kings of Leon, KISS, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Metallica, Mudvayne, Muse, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones, U2, Van Halen, and Velvet Revolver have performed at the Goffertpark as a concert venue.
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