UEFA: Brussels new stadium plan for Euro 2020 hits stumbling block.
In September 2014, UEFA annouced their pan-european vision for Euro 2020 with 13 host cities and respective venues for the tournament revealed. Currently suspended UEFA president Michel Platini branded the tournement as a 'romantic' one-off to celebrate the 60th birthday of the European Championship.
Chosen ahead of Cardiff, Brussels is due to host group matches and a round of 16 match.
Belgium proposed the 'Eurostadium', a state-of-the-art all-seater stadium on the outskirts of Brussels with a construction delivery date in 2019. The Ghelamco consortium was chosen by the council of Brussels to finance, build and operate the stadium. The stadium would host Belgium's national team and RSC Anderlecht. However, Club Brugge opposed the Eurostadium, citing disproportional benefits for Anderlecht.
The envirmomental report suggests that the transport circulation around the stadium will be precarious with a predicted surge in traffic jams, especially near Brussels's ring road. Ghelamco must submit additional documents adressing the matters before the Flemish goverment considers granting an enviromental licence.
The stadium is also facing opposition over public funding. Local politicians repeatedly stated in the Brussels parliament that the new stadium wouldn't cost the Belgian tax payer a penny, but such claims may not be true: the Brussels council, the Brussels region and the Flemish government will invest €80 million in the parking, €123 million in the exploitation of the stadium, €150 million in access roads, €33 million in security, €45 million in lease and €1.3 million in legal fees, according to local newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
UEFA has warned that Brussels must meet the delivery deadline of 2019. The consortium had intended to commence construction during spring but that might now be delayed. (MA)