New national stadium “threatens Brussels exhibition industry”
Thursday, 16 October 2014
The construction of the new soccer stadium at the Heysel could threaten an entire growing sector bringing jobs to Brussels,” read a joint statement by Febiac (Belgian Automobile and Cycling Federation ), organizer of the auto show, and FISA, which organizes Batibouw, the international show for building, renovation and decoration. “On Friday, October 10th, at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, the Belgium-Andorra soccer match and the food show took place at the same time,” reported Febia and FISA. “Result: only a third of the expected visitors were present for the night, especially because of the traffic jams created by spectators at the match.”
Show organizers say they fear the negative impact that the new national stadium will have on events taking place in the neighboring palaces. “In total, the Brussels Expo attracts nearly 2.5 million visitors each year,” say Febiac and FISA. “It takes no less than 9,000 and 12,000 people working to make the auto show and Batibouw possible”
Both companies have suggested “an objective study be conducted by an independent company on the mobility of projects on the Heysel.” They are also requesting “the guarantee that the infrastructure manager which hosts trade shows also be the manager of the parking lot.”
Brussels was selected by the UEFA, the European football union, to accommodate four matches of Euro-2020. These must take place in a new national stadium built to replace the King Baudouin Stadium.