The saying "if you build it they will come" aptly describes the first full season of playing soccer at the Van Andel Soccer Stadium at Hope College.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that Hope ranked ranked second in average home attendance among all of the 404 colleges that played Division III soccer during the 2010 season.
Hope began using Van Andel Soccer Stadium midway through the 2009 season. The 2010 schedule included nine home games with an average attendance of 983 fans, trailing only perennial leader Messiah, Pa. which averaged 1,709 fans en route to winning the national championship.
Van Andel Stadium provides seating for an estimated 1,500 fans. On September 25, 2010 the Flying Dutchmen defeated rival Calvin 1-0 before a school-record 2,733 fans, many of whom spilled out of the stands and lined the fences at both ends of the field to watch the action.
The 2010 Flying Dutchmen posted an 8-1 record en route to winning the co-championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Hope's two-season record at Van Andel is 12-3-1.
The stadium has stadium-style and bleacher seating. There are accompanying terrace areas for picnicking and tailgating. The stadium includes a concession stand, public restrooms, a first aid/training room, two full locker rooms for Hope's teams, a meeting room for visiting teams, a ticket booth and a press box. The field surface is of artificial turf and there is stadium lighting for night contests.
2010 Division III Men's Soccer Attendance Laders (by average)
1. Messiah, Pa. 1,709, 2. HOPE 983, 3. Christopher Newport, Va. 828, 4. Wheaton, Ill. 770, 5. York, Pa. 678, 6. North Park, Ill. 567, 7. Ohio Wesleyan 547, 8. Connecticut College 536, 9. Swarthmore, Pa. 530, 10. East Mennonite, Va. 520.