January 13 – Club Brugge have said they will build a new 40,000-seater stadium on the site of their current ground, the Jan Breydelstadion, at a cost of €100 million. Stadium construction is to be completed by the 2022-23 season.
Brugge local authorities and the club have agreed a deal that will allow the Belgian league leaders to build a new stadium adjacent to their current stadium. The club had long envisaged a brand new stadium in another part of the city but, given administrative entanglements, the club took the option to build closer to home.
The club will finance the stadium build. Land will be leased from the city.
“The stadium is old and dangerous,” said Club Brugge president Bart Verhaeghe. “Worn out. The sooner we leave, the better for everyone. For the future of Club and for the entire environment. This will give Sint-Andries and Bruges a boost. That is precisely why I am convinced that it will work this time.”
In 1973, Club Brugge, and crosstown rivals Cercle Brugge, built the Jan Breydelstadion, a municipal stadium, to replace the old Albert Dyserynckstadion and alleviate some of the club’s financial troubles. The stadium had a capacity of 30,000 and received a major facelift ahead of Euro 2000, the continental finals co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands.
But conscious of the impending changes that European club football is about to face, Verhaeghe thinks it is imperative that Club Brugge gets a new stadium to have any chance of competing.
“Everything will change, the requirements to play at the absolute top will become more demanding,” said Verhaeghe. “Imagine that you miss out because you are not allowed to play in your own stadium. Okay, we are Belgium and we will always be Belgium. But I still want to be able to do what Ajax does. We needed a solution for our stadium, and we have now found it.”
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1603183509labto1603183509ofdlr1603183509owedi1603183509sni@o1603183509fni1603183509