The pilot stadiums scattered across Europe, including the Olympic Stadium in Rome, the Romanian National Arena in Bucharest, Friends Arena in Stockholm, Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genova, Real Betis’ home ground Benito Villamarin, Dublin’s Lansdowne road/AVIVA stadium, are playing an important role in the project as they will be hosting not only important qualifiers and championship games later this year, but also the pilot test which will have the assessment of the replication potential of various environmental improvement measures as their key objective.
AVIVA stadium in Dublin hosts not only the games of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) but also those of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), and it brings together not only the FAI and stadium representatives but also the Dublin City Council and the stadium’s waste operator.
After having visited AVIVA stadium in Dublin, it was the Belgian national stadium’s turn to be visited by ACR+. Welcomed by Sassi Hedeli and Kevin Raveyts of the Belgian FA (URBSFA/KVBV), Thierry Bulcke, Nicolas Vazquez and Cyrille Lebeau of the city of Brussels, as well as Marc Vlaeminck of Prosport – responsible for non-sportive events, the meeting allowed ACR+ to get a better overview of the current procedures, principles and environmental standards which are used during organisations of football games, but also concerts and athletic competitions.
The stadium, owned by the city of Brussels and used mainly by URBSFA/KVBV, concert organisers and the Belgian Athletic Federation, has great potentials for improvements in all domains of environmental performance – waste management, mobility, energy and general governance. The meeting included a stadium visit which took the participants through different areas of the stadium and its facilities.
What is remarkable for the stadium is that it barely has any permanent facilities (such as kitchens, ambulance, press rooms etc.) but it is always the event organiser (URBSFA/KVBV in the project’s case) who has to provide the necessary equipment and material. This open the door to many potential improvements in various areas of the football game, such as replacing single-use plastic cups, with reusable ones with an accompanying deposit scheme, improving the mobility and introducing separate waste collection as there isn’t one at the moment. The city of Brussels was more than interested in the project and the cooperation, as they are aware that many things need to be improved in order to achieve a better environmental performance and they already brought this cooperation forward to the city council for making it official.
ACR+ will stay in tight contact with both the FAI and URBSFA/KVBV and act not only as their reference contact for the LIFE TACKLE project, but also offering necessary technical assistance. The next LIFE TACKLE project meeting in Genova on 11 July will be the perfect opportunity for the project’s technical partners to present and compare the initial findings from the 10 stadiums.