Ghent’s new football stadium named Ghelamco Arena


It is now a given fact: Ghent’s new football stadium will, for a period of ten years, be known as the Ghelamco Arena, named after the company that co-initiated and successfully developed the project in a remarkably short time frame. 

During a press conference, Chairman of the KAA Ghent football team Ivan De Witte, Ghelamco CEO Paul Gheysens and trainer Michel Louwagie explained why they chose the new name. The Arena has 8 huge state of the art LED-towers – a technological masterpiece by Philips - enabling the communication of commercial and other messages. The revenue this brings, will partially go to the club as a recurrent income, allowing it to develop a long term policy and achieve sportive success, in Belgium and most certainly also abroad. 


According to Paul Gheysens, sportive success is what it all boils down to: “We created a win-win situation. The investment project is basically about football, so first of all we need this football to be successful, as successful as it can possibly get. That’s why we set up this collaboration, which to my knowledge is unique and which – I wish to stress that – has nothing to do with patronage, but merely with a good understanding of our own interests.” Ghelamco’s CEO says there is no doubt the stadium will be ready for the opening match on July 17th, a top event that will be attended by the Belgian King and Queen.

All football fans treated as VIPs

The Ghelamco Arena is quite different from all other football stadiums worldwide. It has innovative glass all around, it is decorated with the aforementioned big LED-towers that can be seen from a 1,5 km distance, and it offers a VIP-treatment to literally all supporters who will have their catering nearby wherever they are in the stadium. “Both the concept and the build are quite exceptional,” says Ghelamco’s founding father Paul Gheysens. The different grandstands of the stadium will each have a colour assigned to it, which will correspond with the ticket colours. The grandstands will have a name. So, for instance, one of them will be called Telenet, which is one of the leading telecom operators in Belgium.

By naming the stadium ‘Ghelamco Arena’, all institutions involved in the project express their esteem for the groundbreaking efforts of Paul Gheysens and his team. “Without Ghelamco, truly, this stadium would not exist today,”says KAA Ghent’s football team president Ivan De Witte. 

Ghelamco started off in Poland back in 1985 as an international real estate development and investment company. For several years now, Ghelamco is Poland’s real estate market leader.

Artevelde Park

The Ghelamco Arena is bordered by the Artevelde Park. There, two highly modern office buildings are arising. “We do not deal merely with concrete and bricks,” says CEO Paul Gheysens, “There is a clear vision behind what we do. We create a multifunctional living environment where people can go to for their leisure, to work, to shop.” So, in the Artevelde Park there is going to be shops, a parking lot, a DIY-shop (Brico) and other useful facilities.

Ghelamco’s office buildings at the Artevelde Park comprise quite some innovation. Paul Gheysens explains: “We make maximum use of space. That is elementary. Furthermore, we use innovative materials that reduce the energy input and allow a really exceptional ventilation and illumination. To top this all, the offices offer a wonderful view on the river Leie.”

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