After 14 years Stade du Pays de Charleroi is back to its pre-Euro size. Instead of 30,000 it’s just over 14,000 in capacity, while further changes are expected to come next year.
The downscaling of Stade du Pays de Charleroi turned into a real saga as its most impressive east stand was first reduced in size after Euro 2000 (losing the third tier). Later all three stands expanded for the tournament lost their second tiers in 2013.
Since then the stands were uncovered and spectators needed to use rain capes to bare windy and rainy Autumn nights. But in early August installation of shed-like roofs ended. The three-month operation cost €1.3 million and reverted the stadium finally to its older shape.
The decision was reached as local community protested against the stadium’s size, while Racing barely used one fifth of the Euro 2000 capacity in recent years.
In 2015 further changes are planned. Roughly €7 million is to be spent on opening the stadium towards fans and residents, improving matchday experience.