The ESA project, as envisioned by its promoters since 2009, aims at creating a big centre of excellence hosting around twenty sporting disciplines for the Brussels, Belgian, European and International elite athletes. This project, conceived on a much longer term than the ESA Arena project, undergoes a feasibility study funded by Beliris with up to 750,000 euros and will address adult athletes from all sports, coming from very different places and benefiting from the consolidation of research capacity of businesses and universities.
The Beliris study aims at reviewing the implementation modalities of the centre (location, urban planning, architecture, equipment). In this context, it will consider the possibility of creating a running track nearby. Afterwards, it will address the question of an infrastructure which could welcome up to 35,000 people. In addition, it will consider the opportunity of creating an adjacent House of Sport, bringing together different sports federations and Belgian and European sports bodies. It plans to draw up the financial plan on investment, functioning and plan of reimbursement and of profit-sharing of investing parties. It will also screen the legal and institutional conditions of its feasibility.
The study will be independent, by theoretically not taking decisions on the geometry of the centre. The contract was awarded to the consortium Deloitte – ARUP – VUB after a four-year course. The study should be completed by the end of February 2017. The results should be discussed at a symposium in spring 2017.
The financial plan, which will be part of the Beliris study, will show that most of the investment financing will come from the private sector, via increased deduction mechanisms for investment, while part of the financing of operating costs will be ensured by the Communities dealing with sports. The share of RBC and other public authorities in this investment is therefore not established at this stage, but it should only represent a minor share of an investment involving 100 million for the centre of excellence.