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Design & Development

RUSG faced with move away to deliver on stadium ambitions

Stade Joseph Marien in Brussels, Belgium

Featured image credit: Royale Union Saint-Gilloise

Stade Joseph Marien in Brussels, Belgium

Featured image credit: Royale Union Saint-Gilloise

Belgian Pro League football club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (RUSG) appears set for a move to a new stadium after a renovation of its current home, the Stade Joseph Marien, was deemed impractical.

RUSG’s success in recent years has led to renewed assessment of its stadium situation and the 8,000-capacity Stade Joseph Marien is viewed as unsuitable for its ambitions. The stadium opened in 1919 and was redeveloped between 2016 and 2018.

The club has been exploring plans for a new stadium and in October it teamed up with its chief architect Brussels Bouwmeester/Maître Architecte to launch a design competition for a proposed new venue.

Plans for a new stadium are now set to accelerate after Ans Persoons, Brussels Secretary of State for Urban Planning and Heritage, effectively ruled out the possibility of renovating the Stade Joseph Marien.

The stadium is located in Duden Park in Brussels’ Forest municipality. As the park is a classified site, expanding the stadium’s capacity to 15,000 would be impossible, according to a study carried out by the urban.brussels administrative body.

“A larger stadium would inevitably require encroaching on part of the park,” Persoons said, according to the Brussels Times newspaper.

Persoons said that attention must now turn to discussions for a new stadium in a different location.

RUSG has been forced to play European matches at the home stadiums of Anderlecht and OH Leuven, as Stade Joseph Marien does not meet UEFA standards.

The project to develop a new stadium has been ongoing for several years. In 2020, RUSG teamed up with ESA and KSS to analyse the possibilities of a site in Bempt. Union said the visual identity of the stadium would have to take into account an already designed concept and the reasonably limited site footprint.