A future for King Baudouin Stadium without paralyzing traffic
A study of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) indicates that there still is room to organize major events in a renovated King Baudouin stadium without paralysing traffic.
To control the mobility issue, organizing major events in a stadium that would offer space for 60.000 spectators means that private cars should be banned as much as possible, that public transport should be the first means of transport and that the flux of these spectators should be spaced in time.
This is the result of a study of IGEAT (Institut de Gestion de l’Environnement et de l’Aménagement du Territoire) at the ULB. The study was ordered by Beltomundial, an organization created at the time to have the World Cup Football 2018 in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The study was never published until now. In the study the questions of building another (new) stadium elsewhere or the necessity of renovating the King Baudouin stadium were not asked. The only aim was to study mobility around a bigger and renovated stadium for 60.000 people.
The study starts with the remark that the stadium has some qualities regarding mobility: the Brussels ring road is nearby and no less than 3 subway stations are in the vicinity. The researchers looked at 2 events for their study, the Belgian Cup Final Football 2008 (May the 18th) and a Bon Jovi concert (June the 14th).
In both cases the movements of 14.000 spectators were analyzed and an extrapolation was made for 60.000 people. The first scenario considered 39,2% spectators coming to the stadium by car, 44,6% by (private) bus, 13% by public transport and 2,2% by bike or other means. In this case congestion of the private buses would cause problems.
73,7% coming by car
A second scenario took 73,7% of cars into account, 10% private buses, 13% public transport and 3,3% other means of transport. This scenario would create a traffic chaos around the stadium and was immediately abandoned as not realistic.
A third scenario aimed at 36,2% of spectators coming by public transport, 6,7% by private bus, 56,1% by car and 1% by other means of transport. In this case the risk of congestion was high if the flux of spectators was too concentrated, as well for subway capacity as for car traffic.
IGEAT concludes that as many people as possible should be transported by public transport or private buses, with packages for train use and hotel stay if international events are organized. The private buses are key in this proposal because public transport isn’t able to absorb solely the transfer from car to other means of transport. Also peak hours on the Brussels ring road have to be avoided.
As the possibility of a new stadium on the C-Parking near the ring road has practically been abandoned recently, there are new players in the field (Besix) proposing the renovation of the King Baudouin Stadium in a collaboration with the Neo project for shops an businesses in the same neighbourhood. The IGEAT study has not taken into account this latest scenario…