Yesterday, the number of bikes around the Ghelamco Arena was counted: 2840! This not only makes KAA Gent the club with the largest amount of cycling fans in the country, it's also gaining international attention. Football in the community, KAA Gent's community department, received an invitation to tell Velo Buffalo's story at the international Healthy Stadia Conference at the Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) in London.
When the Ghelamco Arena opened, Football in the community, KAA Gent's community department, started a Facebook group for and by cycling Buffalos: Velo Buffalo. Supporters who go to the stadium by bike can meet each other here online. Through Velo Buffalo, more than 700 fans share their experiences.
Healthy Stadia Conference
The efforts made for cycles were also noticed by the European network 'Healthy Stadia'. In April 2017, KAA Gent's community department will be one of the speakers at the Healthy Stadia Conference. This will be the fourth edition of the conference with 250 delegates expected to attend, and will celebrate 10 years of the European Healthy Stadia movement through keynote presentations and breakout sessions from a wide variety of speakers, including: governing bodies of sport, individual clubs/foundations, stadium operators, government departments (sport, health, transport), academics and health practitioners alike. Other confiremed speakers are Arsenal FC, Everton and UEFA. In March 2015 our cycling Buffalos were already mentioned at the EFDN (European Football for Development Network) conference in Manchester (Old Trafford).
Earlier, KAA Gent had already received the 'Active Travel Pledge' certificate from Healthy Stadia for its efforts to motivate fans to bike and walk, for the development of cycling infrastructure, for promoting cycling and walking routes to the stadium and for motivating its fans to choose a healthy option to get to the stadium. They also made a case study about our cycling Buffalos.
In a 350 metres radius around the Ghelamco Arena 2838 fixed cycle locking facilities were built.
- Ghelamco Arena, entrance C: 368 spots
- Brico Plan-it lower level: 654 spots
- Brico Plan-it upper level: 656 spots
- Blue Towers: 224 spots
- Markten & Foren: 936 spots
When the weather is really good, or at important games, an extra 600 mobile cycle locking facilities are installed. This amounts to a total of 3438 cycle locking facilities.