Within just two days they collected nearly €5,000 for legal representation. Lawyers are intended to help stop the development of a new 40,000-capacity stadium by Club Brugge.
You may recall that in August Club Brugge has presented the official design for its long-awaited new stadium. Instead of building up north, the club has chosen its current Olympia complex to develop a new stadium, beside the existing Jan Breydel Stadion (which would be demolished after completion of its successor).
As Belgian stadium projects have tought us, though, it's never simple to get such a major project through all necessary steps and actually start construction. Despite Club Brugge having been working on the project for many months, there is already a notable opposition to the project.
Reportedly it consists of local residents who have founded a group called Leefbaar Sint-Andries (Liveable Sint-Andries). They intend to stop the project before planning permission is given, arguing that it will cause serious issues for everyone around, predominantly associated with traffic and parking.
While the group has literally no supporters on Facebook (2 people follow its official profile), it has already attracted nearly €5,000 in crowdfunding, from 84 donors. The goal is to raise €25,000 and hire lawyers who will use necessary legal recourses to counter the stadium project.
It's worth mentioning that Club Brugge consulted its neighbours and has made a long list of concessions with regard to the stadium, providing a detailed mobility study, limiting the number of events to only football games, even cutting out some functions from the stadium project which would hardly qualify as nuisance (like a microbrewery). According to the opponents, however, the comfort of life in the area is still at risk of falling.
As a quick reaction to the anti-stadium campaign, supporters of FC Brugge building their new home have also quickly began organising under the umbrella community called 'Taskforce 5 na 12' (5 to 12, meaning last minute). When we started writing this short piece the group had 4,900 followers on Facebook, upon ending it it's already 5,300.