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GROUND // Oude Luchthaven - KFC Melsbroek (demolished)

Time for one remarkable ground in Belgium. Up until early May this was a ground in use. Now it's officially a lost ground. In a couple of weeks time this will be completely demolished. Obviously we are talking about the ground at the Oude Luchthaven (Old Airport) in Melsbroek.

The history of this ground all started in 1940. During WWII the Germans built a military airport in this area to centralize their transportation in and through Belgium. Up until then Belgium didn't have a real national airport in use. After the war the Belgian government decided to take advantage of the facilities and they opened up the first real national airport in Melsbroek as a replacement of the smaller airport in Haren. Strangely enough the airport in Haren was also built by the Germans, back in the days of WWI. This airport in Melsbroek was officially used up until 1956-58, until it became too small to host all the air traffic. By Expo 58 the new airport in Zaventem was opened, but the Melsbroek part formed a part of the new airport.

Back in 1953 FC Melsbroek was created. We're not sure if they immediately started playing at the airport, but definitely along the way they made an arrangement with the airport authorities they were allowed to use a part of the area to build their stadium.

Across the decades FC Melsbroek is one of those teams that always played in the regional leagues and unfortunately never made it to the national divisions. The stands aren't huge, but the view is simply amazing. You could literally see planes arriving/departing from just a couple of 100 meters away.

The airport kept growing and growing and ever since the cargo area started expanding the last few decades, it became clear the airport needed the grounds back to be able to use 100% of the capacity. Two years ago an arrangement was made that FC Melsbroek would move to a new ground so that the airport go proceed with their plans, but in return the airport authorities were willing to fund (a part?) of the new stadium. This new stadium has recently been opened and it's just across the road.

To top the celebration of the new stadium, KFC Melsbroek just won their league in the second highest regional league, earning them a spot in the top regional league next season. Groundhoppers that haven't visited this as of yet, or want to re-visit this ground - be VERY quick!


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