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Renovation of King Baudouin Stadium proposed
Following the years-long Eurostadium debacle – meant to be part of the new Neo shopping and leisure centre at Heysel but denied an environmental permit – construction company Besix has come up with a proposal for the complete renovation of the King Baudouin Stadium.
Unlike in the planned Eurostadium, the athletics track would stay – saving events such as the Memorial Van Damme – but it would be a removable track to allow for maximum flexibility. The football pitch turf could also be lowered into the ground to allow for other athletics events.
The currently open stadium would also get a new roof to minimise noise nuisance and allow concerts to be scheduled year-round. The entire renovation, said Besix, would cost up to €250 million. That’s less than the €300 million a new stadium would have cost, but more than Besix said it would cost six months ago.
Brussels-City mayor Philippe Close is behind the renovation, as is Uccle city councillor and federal minister of foreign affairs Didier Reynders. Brussels was eliminated last year as a potential host city for Euro 2020 because of the uncertainties surrounding the construction of Eurostadium.
“There needs to be a public bid, of course,” Reynders told Bruzz, “but a renovation of Baudouin Stadium is an opportunity for Brussels to show what it can do when it comes to major sports and cultural events”.
Next steps include an approval from the Neo project manager, French developer Unibail, which would have to manage the construction of the stadium as part of the Neo project. According to Unibail, the stadium also needs a football club to call it home, otherwise the project is financially unrealistic.
Photo courtesy VisitBrussels