A bit different from the topic only posting updates on new stadiums, but lets discuss the stadiums in general here.
I came to the idea for this topic after emailing with the webmaster of www.groundhopping.be
, a brand new and growing website that shows images of grounds in Belgium from the 4de provinciale grounds to the biggest stadiums in the countries. It was great to chat with someone with the same hobby, as I also visit not only the real stadiums but also the cafeploegen and amateur teams' grounds, good to know I am not the only one crazy enough for that
Now in my opinion, as a fan of old stadiums that hardly changed compared to the old days and breathe history, I still think no stadium in Belgium can beat the Dudenpark of Union. That stadium is just almost perfect (I say almost because it would have been totally perfect if they had not replaced the stands behind the goals with a business seat
). But the old main stand and old terraces have hardly changed in 100 years and the canteen is like a cafe 100 years ago. No stadium in Belgium can beat that for me.
Other old stadiums I adore are the Crossingstadion in Schaarbeek (very poor condition now but it still looks fantastic and breathes history), the Stade des Trois Tilleuls/Drielindenstadion in Watermaal-Bosvoorde (second biggest stadium in Belgium although currently the provinciale club RRC Boitsfort attracts only 100 - 150 fans) and of course the Bosuil in Antwerpen.
I am less a fan of modern allseaters or modern stadiums in general, but I must say I do like the Vandenstockstadium, Sclessin and Mambourg. OK, they are modern, but they at least feel like a real football stadium. Stands close to the pitch, good acoustics, still real football decors even despite the modernness. I liked the old Olympia as well but the rebuilding has made it less attractive, while the RC Genk stadium looks a bit too much like an attempt to copy the stadiums of the longer established top teams.
In lower divisions, some stadiums or grounds I like (I visited over 1000 in Belgium and over 300 elsewhere, so hard to make a selection... but groundhopping trips that I never forgot included
UFC My - provinciale Liege
KSK Wenduine and Zeebrugge - idyllic locations with lovely environment
Standaard Muide Gent - I love the sight on the port from the stands
Maccabi Antwerp - very old and lovely main stand, and I love the Star of David logo on the entrance
KAS Eupen - nice panoramic views and nice cosy little stadium
Lyra - gotta love that old main stand and its wooden/reet roof
Virton - lovely view on the Ardennes hills, nice trip during summer and the porn film we watched on the supporters bus back home to Oostende was great as well
the old FC Antwerpen - the most remote stadium in Belgium, hidden in the docks of the port and at least 2 km away from the nearest house or pub... in the middle of nowhere really
Nieuw Ledeberg - in the swamps of the Gent suburbs and the first of many immigrants teams I visited
none of them is really that special for the average football fan, for me these hold something special due to the memories attached.
Which are your favourite stadiums in Belgium? You can include any level, from the top of the D1 to the local pub teams' grounds ....
PS I deliberately left out KVO's stadium for the sake of remaining neutral