There are a couple of stadiums that have been pending on our to do list for far too long now. The Burgemeester Thienpontstadion is one of them. Located in East Flanders, it's one remarkable stadium that really stands out. You can immediately tell KSV Oudenaarde once played on a very high level (second division) and still plays rather high, with some ambition.
Football in Oudenaarde started in 1908 with Football Club Audenardais (member of the Belgian FA since 1911) and Sportkring Aldenardia (founded in 1911). For a few years they played separately (in the lower divisions), but directly after WWI (in 1919) the two teams merged to become Sportvereeniging Audenaerde. 1919 is also the official year of foundation of the current team, as back in the days a merger meant starting over from scratch. So that means their current matricule number 81 could have been a lot "older" in the current set up of the FA. After a couple of years (in 1924) SV Audenaerde first reached the national leagues (second division), but immediately relegated again. Although their national debut wasn't a success it was the start of a nice history. In 1928 they returned to the national leagues (in the newly created third division) and stayed there for a number of years (until 1935). After WWII they returned to third division and again a few years later (in 1951) they became a royal team and changed the team name into the Dutch translation; KSV Oudenaarde.
The next couple of decades it would go up and down for KSVO. The team would see football in third and fourth division, but also in the regional leagues on a regular basis. In 1967 they would grab their first national championship, promoting to third division. But the ups and downs would stabilize in the 70s and 80s. As of 1970 they played and stayed in third division and as the years went by KSVO become better. By the end of the 70s KSVO always ended in the top of third division and in 1980 they finally won the league, going back to second division for the first time in a very long period. After three years they had to go back to third division.
After 1988 things even took a turn for the worst. That year they relegated to fourth division and in the 90s KSVO even went back to the regional leagues (5th and 6th tier). In 1999 they ended their regional period and in 2006 they returned to their home division - third division. In 2012 they even returned to second division for one year, but up until last year they mainly played in third division. Since the Belgian FA reformed the competition structure KSVO is now playing in the first amateur leagues, the third tier.
How long KSVO is playing in the Burgemeester Thienpontstadion is unknown to us, but we must say we like this one very much. It has all the classic elements of a good stadium, with a traditional English look and feel in the grandstand, very nice terracing around the pitch and a cool standing area opposite of the grandstand. The floodlights are impressive as well. It really shows KSVO regularly played second division and the stadium is well maintained as well. Definitely a must see!