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King Baudouin Stadium

The King Baudouin Stadium is located in the north-west region of Brussels, Belgium and is a dedicated sports ground. The inauguration of the stadium took place on 23 August 1930, and was looked over by Crown Prince Leopold.


King Baudouin Stadium Capacity


It is situated in the Heysel region and was built in order to improve the view of the Heysel plateau. The stadium had a capacity of 70,000 then, but has been reduced to 50,093, but is still the biggest stadium in the country.


It also has a wooden cycling track around the pitch which was installed after the construction and inauguration of the stadium, and is a UEFA Category 4 stadium.


King Baudouin Stadium


History


The stadium was constructed in 1930 and was originally known as the “Jubilee Stadium” as it was inaugurated only a few days after Belgium’s 100th anniversary. The first match held here was an unofficial football match between Belgium and Netherlands.


The stadium was renamed as “Heysel Stadium” in 1946. It was renovated in around 1995, and was renamed as “King Baudouin Stadium”.


Major Matches


The stadium was used mainly as the home of the Belgian national teams of football and rugby. The stadium hosted the 1996 European Cup Winners Cup Final and also the Euro 2000. Three group-stage matches, one quarterfinal and one semi-final were played here.


The stadium also witnessed a few rugby matches, of which one was cancelled due to heavy snowfall in Brussels.


In 2010, the stadium hosted the Best of Belgium gala where tennis stars Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters went head to head in front of the largest crowd ever for a single match.


Controversies


In 1985, there was a huge disaster in the stadium caused by spectators trying to escape. This was before the 1985 European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus and 39 people were killed and 600 injured due to a collapsing wall. The match was played despite the ghastly incident, with Juventus winning 1-0.


On 28 May 2006, a conflict between the Belgian Football Association and the people stating that the stadium was not safe resulted in a controversy. The case was taken to court, and a new contract was signed so that the Belgian National teams could play their next matches there. Since 15 November 2006, the Belgian national team’s home has been the King Baudouin Stadium.

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