Brussels: National stadium could be downsized to 40,000

source: StadiumDB.com

Brussels: National stadium could be downsized to 40,000 Ghelamco revealed their plan to accommodate Anderlecht's wishes by reducing capacity after Euro 2020. The simplified design should also take less time to build.

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The national stadium in Grimbergen (north of the Brussels urban area) continues its uphill struggle. Investor, Ghelamco, has one month left to compile the stadium's full dossier and submit it to UEFA, who will decide on December 7 whether Brussels will remain a Euro 2020 host. The biggest issue is long-delayed groundbreaking, now threatening timely delivery of the stadium.

But that's not the only issue. Even if built in time for 2020, the stadium's viability is threatened after Anderlecht had announced in February that they would not move to the new arena. Without this kind of anchor tenant balancing the stadium's budget could prove very challenging.

Key reason for Anderlecht to withdraw was the stadium's scale. With over 61,000 seats the venue wouldn't only be the largest stadium across Belgium, it would also be over double the size of Constant Vanden Stock Stadion. The demand for such size during Anderlecht's games simply isn't there.

Nieuw Nationaal StadionFor Anderlecht's games the stadium is expected to turn purple, should the club decide to move. © Jaspers-Eyers Architects, Ghelamco

Now Ghelamco manager Philip Neyt reveals how his company hopes to satisfy both Anderlecht and UEFA. The stadium's structure has been redesigned and will be more flexible.

“For Euro 2020 the stadium will have 60,000 seats. But, since we're building the upper tier with steel rather than concrete, we could reduce the capacity to 50,000 by reducing part. We could also go down to 40,000. We've also included some concessions demanded by local residents.” Neyt has said, quoted by La Derniere Heure.

Changing the upper tier from concrete to steel means two things. Not only will the stadium be easier to downscale after Euro 2020, but it will also be faster to build in order to make it for the tournament.

Also, in order to meet a different demand by Anderlecht, the architects have moved two strips of skyboxes closer to the field.

In case you haven't followed the project, new national stadium of Belgium was due for groundbreaking back in March, 2016. However, for several reasons it's yet to get fully underway. This leaves a very narrow window before Euro 2020.

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