King Baudouin Stadium

sports stadium in Brussels, Belgium

The King Baudouin Stadium (French: Stade Roi Baudouin, Dutch: Koning Boudewijnstadion) is a sports stadium in the Heysel section of Brussels, Belgium.

Stade Roi Baudouin
Koning Boudewijnstadion
Stade Roi Baudouin.JPG
Former namesStade du Centenaire or Jubelstadion (1930–1946)
Stade du Heysel or Heizelstadion (1946–1995)
LocationBrussels, Belgium
Opened23 August 1930
Renovated1995 (€37 million)
SurfaceGrass
Capacity50,093[1]
Record attendance64,073 (Anderlecht vs Dundee, 6 March 1963)
Field dimensions106 m × 66 m (348 ft × 217 ft)
Tenants
Belgium national football team (1930–1985, 1995–May 2006, November 2006–present)
Union SG (2016–2018)
Belgium national rugby union team
Royal Excelsior Sports Club de Bruxelles (Athletics)
Acreage{{{acreage}}}

HistoryEdit

The original name mane of the stadium was the Jubilee Stadium (French: Stade du Centenaire, Dutch: Jubelstadion). This is because it was inaugurated days after Belgium's 100th anniversary, with an unofficial Belgium-Netherlands football match. In 1946 the stadium was renamed Heysel Stadium (French: Stade du Heysel, Dutch: Heizelstadion), after the area it was built in. The Heysel stadium hosted European Cup finals in 1958, 1966, 1974, and 1985, and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup finals in 1964, 1976 and 1980. The highest attendance at a European game was over 66,000 in 1958.

May 1985 disasterEdit

Even though it was Belgium's national stadium, Heysel was not well maintained. The stadium's poor condition became apparent at the 1985 European Cup Final. For example, the outer wall had been made of cinder block, and fans who did not have tickets were seen kicking holes in it to get in.[2] Additionally, the only escape route led upward, and there were only three gates on each short side–nowhere near enough for the 22,000 people standing on the terraces on either side.[3]

The stadium's inadequacies had been well known for some time. When Arsenal played there in the early 1980s, its supporters ridiculed it as a "dump." Indeed, the presidents of the two 1985 European finalists, Juventus and Liverpool, had concluded that Heysel was in no condition to host a European Final, especially one featuring two of the largest and most powerful clubs in Europe at the time. They urged UEFA to move the match to another ground, to no avail.[4][5] It later emerged that UEFA had only spent half an hour inspecting the stadium.[3]

The Heysel Stadium disaster resulted in the deaths of 39 Juventus fans, after they were attacked by Liverpool fans before the match.[2] Despite this, the stadium continued to be used for Belgium international games between 1986 and 1990, with minimal improvements to the stadium made after the disaster. This was mainly because the government had drawn up plans to remodel the stadium into a 35,000-seat facility. In 1990, UEFA forced the issue by barring Belgium from hosting a European Final until at least 2000.[3] It continued to host track and field events and it still hosts the Memorial Van Damme every year.

ModernisationsEdit

In 1995, the stadium was rebuilt at the cost of BEF 1,500 million (around €37/$50 million in 1995). As well, the stadium was renamed to the King Baudouin Stadium, after the former Belgian monarch. It was re-opened on August 23, 1995, as the home of the Belgium national football team. It is the largest stadium in Belgium, with a capacity of 50,093. The remodeled stadium hosted the 1996 European Cup Winners Cup final, as well as the opening game for Euro 2000.

In March of 2019 the Belgian football association announced plans for a new redevelopment of the King Baudouin stadium. The stadium would be rebuilt to a reduced capacity of 40 000 spectators, and would be renamed to the Golden Generation Arena.[6]

UEFA Euro 2000 matchesEdit

Date Team 1 Result Team 2 Round
10 June 2000   Belgium 2–1   Sweden Group B
14 June 2000   Italy 2–0   Belgium Group B
19 June 2000   Turkey 2–0   Belgium Group B
24 June 2000   Italy 2–0   Romania Quarter-finals
28 June 2000   France 2–1
(asdet)
  Portugal Semi-finals

Related pagesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "History King Baudouin Stadium". RBFA. Archived from the original on 26 June 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Evans, Tony (5 April 2005). "Our day of shame". The Times. London. Retrieved 24 May 2006.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Heysel Stadium Disaster". Royal Belgian Football Association. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  4. "LFC Story 1985". Liverpool Official Website. Archived from the original on 20 May 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2006.
  5. Enrico Sisti (28 May 2010). "Il calcio cambiò per sempre" (in Italian). la Repubblica. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  6. "Golden Generation Arena - An arena at the height of our golden generation". www.belgianfootball.be. Royal Belgian Football Association. 19 March 2019.

Other websitesEdit

Coordinates: 50°53′44.54″N 4°20′2.70″E / 50.8957056°N 4.3340833°E / 50.8957056; 4.3340833

Events and Tenants
Preceded by
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Madrid
European Cup
Final venue

1958
Succeeded by
Neckarstadion
Stuttgart
Preceded by
De Kuip
Rotterdam
European Cup Winners' Cup
Final venue

1964
Succeeded by
Wembley Stadium
London
Preceded by
San Siro
Milan
European Cup
Final venue

1966
Succeeded by
Estádio Nacional
Lisbon (Oeiras)
Preceded by
Stadio Olimpico
Rome
UEFA European Championship
Final venue

1972
Succeeded by
Stadion Crvena Zvezda
Belgrade
Preceded by
Stadion Crvena Zvezda
Belgrade
European Cup
Final venue

1974
Succeeded by
Parc des Princes
Paris
Preceded by
St. Jakob Stadium
Basel
European Cup Winners' Cup
Final venue

1976
Succeeded by
Olympisch Stadion
Amsterdam
Preceded by
St. Jakob Stadium
Basel
European Cup Winners' Cup
Final venue

1980
Succeeded by
Rheinstadion
Düsseldorf
Preceded by
Stadio Olimpico
Rome
European Cup
Final venue

1985
Succeeded by
Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Seville
Preceded by
Parc des Princes
Paris
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Final venue

1996
Succeeded by
De Kuip
Rotterdam