Renovating King Baudouin Stadium as expensive as starting again
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    Renovating King Baudouin Stadium as expensive as starting again

    Renovating the current King Baudouin Stadium, to accommodate the Euro 2020 football tournament, would be as expensive as building a new stadium. This was indicated yesterday (Tuesday) by the Dutch experts The Stadium Consultancy.

    The organisation has been commissioned by Ghelamco, the promoter of the Eurostadium on Heysel’s Car Park C. The study says that the cost of the works could reach €300 to 400 million.

    The planning application jointly instituted by the Royal Belgian Football-Association (“URBSFA”), Brussels City Council and the Brussels-Capital region is based upon constructing a new stadium.

    This will accommodate group matches, as well as one of the last 16 matches of Euro 2020. Ben Veenbrink of The Stadium Consultancy mentions that the project anticipates some 60,000 seats, compared to the 50,000 required by UEFA.

    The study indicates that ten reasons demonstrate the inadequacy of the King Baudouin Stadium in meeting UEFA’s requirements. Of particular concern is its total capacity of 45,000 places and only having 16,563 places which meet European standards.

    The Stadium Consultancy says that a new stadium costing €300 to 400 million is needed, to overhaul the stadium and accommodate Euro 2020.

    The consultants also fear an inefficient model with increased operational costs and operating incomes driven downwards. Their analysis indicates that the process to obtain planning permissions could also take up to two years.

    Ben Veenbrink says, “The best-case scenario would be that construction kicks off in mid-2019.”

    He goes on, “This will only leave a year before Euro 2020, whereas such projects really require at least two years’ work to be completed efficiently.”

    The Stadium Consultancy says there is no plan B for the construction of a national stadium.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times