Belgian football club Royal Antwerp has announced plans to renovate its Bosuilstadion home ground and increase its capacity to 23,000.

The club’s owner Paul Gheysens and Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever made the announcement on Saturday.

Next year, Royal Antwerp will rebuild three of the stands at the Bosuilstadion, ensuring that the ground will be fully enclosed. A single-roof structure will also form part of the plans, a move the club hopes will improve the atmosphere and reduce noise pollution for local residents.

Royal Antwerp plans on introducing facial recognition technology at the stadium following consultation with local law enforcement agencies, while a family-dedicated stand will also be set up.

Additionally, the club wants to encourage more supporters to travel to matches by bicycle or public transport, noting that 70 per cent of its fans come from a radius of 7.5km around the Bosuilstadion. Other plans include a training centre and practice fields for the club’s senior and youth teams.

De Wever said: “The new stadium will be a blessing for the neighbourhood: less noise, less light pollution, more safety and the supporters can be better separated and that is good for the police. This is a big story for the supporters.”

The Bosuilstadion has a current capacity of 15,000.

Image: Royal Antwerp