Ghelamco Arena: The start of Sporting successes of KAA Gent

Gent - Ghelamco ArenaGent - Ghelamco Arena 02.02.2016: For the first time in history, KAA Gent were the champion of the Belgium Jupiler Pro League in 2015. It was the start of their sporting successes. On the 17th of February 2016 they will play their first 1/8 final in the Champions League. As a newcomer in this Champions League, they did an amazing job. But were started this sporting successes? Is it the coach, the players? Or the new Ghelamco Arena?

The Ghelamco Arena was officially opened on July 17, 2013 and it was the first new-built Belgian football stadium since 1974. The stadium seats 20,000 and replaced the Jules Ottenstadion, which had been Gent's home since 1920. The stadium hosted its first competitive match on 4 August 2013, when Gent won 2-1 over KV Mechelen.

Instead of 12.000 visitors, right now they have a capacity of 20.000 visitors. Besides, this multi-use stadium is also useful for entertainment activities, for example concerts and meetings of important worldwide companies. All games of the Belgium national football team during the World Cup of 2014 were shown on big screens, accompanied by performance of Belgian artists.
  KAA Gent gained more effort out of there stadium ticket sale, but also out of the side events. The result of this is more budget to spend on new players, expand their training possibilities and invest in the youth players. There is no other way the change of the home stadium has effect on the sporting successes of KAA Gent. Besides, this stadium is worth a visit! With 500.000 led lights at the outside of the stadium, the sight of this building is very impressive.

 
Foto: Gunther Vermeulen (CC BY-SA 3.0)
 

Ghelamco Arena is the home base of real estate developer Ghelamco and super market Albert Heijn, an employment agency and a gym. If you want to park your car nearby, there is no problem at all. The stadium counts 1.200 parking spots. Besides, there are 1.000 carpool spots for supporters within a radius of 1 kilometer around the stadium, at a place called Gentbrugge.

It also houses Michelin star restaurant Horseele, a bistro and a sandwich place, which are all open during the week.
 
Photo: Stephan Hoogerwaard

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