By the end of the year, the TACKLE project will put forward a revised version enriched with the project’s own experiences in improving environmental management and performances in its 10 pilot stadiums.
Among the 10 stadiums, two of them – Roi Baudouin/Koning Boudewijn stadium in Brussels and AVIVA stadium in Dublin – are working hard on the implementation of pre-defined measures. Their home games this autumn served as a perfect opportunity to test some of them. While the AVIVA stadium in Dublin wants to improve its already impressive environmental performance by replacing single-use cups with reusable ones, the Royal Belgian Football Association is looking at a vast range of potential improvements, including mobility, waste management, awareness raising among fans and governance in general.
AVIVA stadium management brought together several key stakeholders that needed to have their say whether in terms of design, handling or marketing matters. In particular, stakeholders are the stadium management, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), Diageo, who provides beverages in the stadium, and Base Flow, a UK company specialised in reusable cups. Thus, those reusable cups were tested in a friendly game between Ireland and Wales.
The absence of any major opposition or negative feedback from either the fans or those involved in serving drinks gave a positive signal to the stadium management to go ahead and look at full enrolment of the cups in February 2019, during the 6 Nations rugby competition. The reusable cups follow the destiny of the Irish national football team, therefore, as the team didn’t manage to secure its place in the EURO 2020 against Denmark on 18 November and will have to look for a way through in the play-offs in March next year. Hopefully a successful spring for the stadium and the FAI in terms of both reusable cups and qualifying for the final phase.
On the other hand, the home of the Belgian Red Devils, the Roi Bauudouin/Koning Boudewijn stadium put up a proper show on 19 November celebrating the national team’s flawless campaign in the qualifiers with 10 games won out of 10. The celebrations also included the launch of several new waste management principles, namely brand new separate bins for packaging and residual waste, enhanced by several temporary solutions such as motivating the fans to bring back 10 plastic cups for a free new beverage, eco-teams and animators working on sensibilisation of fans and many other activities. It was a big day for the Royal Belgian FA as they were deploying separate collection of waste for the first time. It was preceded by several meetings between numerous stakeholders who are involved in the organisation of games – Coca-Cola, AB InBev, the city of Brussels, the Royal Belgian Fam SUEZ, Bevers en Bevers, Fostplus and Bruxelles Proprete. The preparations were also accompanied by a survey targeting fans and their environmental habits during football games including waste management and mobility. The results of this survey which will be announced shortly would contribute remarkably to the efforts the Royal Belgian FA is putting into this project. The spring might as well see even more improvements in the stadium as there are currently discussions on new contracts with food and beverage providers, secured bike park and reusable cups.
The rest of the pilot stadiums are undertaking various pilot tests at the same time which will complete the above mentioned Guidelines.