Forest National

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Forest National
Vorst Nationaal
Exterior view of venue (c.2008)
AddressAvenue Victor Rousseau 208
1109 Forest
LocationBrussels-Capital Region
Coordinates50°48′35″N 4°19′34″E / 50.80984°N 4.326242°E / 50.80984; 4.326242Coordinates: 50°48′35″N 4°19′34″E / 50.80984°N 4.326242°E / 50.80984; 4.326242
OwnerMusic Hall Group
OperatorSportpaleis Group
Opened8 October 1970 (1970-10-08)
Renovated1995, 2014
Brussels Royal IHSC (1983–2008)[1]
Venue Website

Forest National (also known as Vorst Nationaal in Dutch) is a multi-purpose arena located in the municipality of Forest near Brussels, Belgium. The arena can hold more than 8,000 people. It hosts indoor sporting events as well as concerts done by a wide variety of artists.

The arena, which opened in 1970, offers between 2,500 and 8,000 seats, depending on the event and is a member of European Arenas Association (EAA).[2] Known for its circular interior, It is owned by the Music Hall Group and operated by the Sportpaleis Groep.


The venue opened on 8 October 1970 with a performance by Maurice Béjart's Ballet of the 20th Century.[3] Then it had a capacity of 5,500 seats. A renovation followed in 1995, which increased the capacity and improved lighting and sound systems.

In 2005 there were plans for a new venue on the border with Drogenbos and Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. It was to be almost twice as large (12,000 to 15,000 seats)[4] and should have been opened in September 2010.[5] However, on 3 September 2008 it was announced that the owner, Music Hall Group NV, had decided not to build a new concert hall.[6]

In 2013, the Sportpaleis Group took over the operation of the hall, while Music Hall Group remained as the owners.[7] The following year, renovations followed, with the seats numbered and new foyers provided. One of these foyers is located in an old backstage room where a 'Wall Of Fame' was created because artists wrote personal messages on the wall. This can be visited by the public. The renovation works were carried out in 2014 by Mathieu Gijbels and ABV + Architecten.[8]


It has hosted sports competitions such as the Donnay Indoor Championships from 1981 to 1992 and the Belgian Basketball Cup since the 2014–15 season. It was the home arena for Brussels Royal IHSC ice hockey team.

Between 18–20 September 2015, in front of a total of 17,000 spectators, a new record attendance record for the Davis Cup in Belgium was set in the semi-final between Belgium and Argentina (3:2).[9]

Noted performers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "LA PATINOIRE DE FOREST-NATIONAL FERME SES PORTES". FRBHG. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  2. ^ "FOREST NATIONAL – EAA". Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Béjart - IXe Symphonie Beethoven". www.forest-national.be. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Nieuw Vorst Nationaal verdubbelt capaciteit". www.bruzz.be. 28 September 2005. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Nieuwe concertzaal Vorst Nationaal open in 2010". www.bruzz.be. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Nieuwe Vorst Nationaal niet naar Bemptwijk". www.bruzz.be. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  7. ^ https://www.hln.be/showbizz/muziek/festivals-en-concerten/sportpaleis-groep-gaat-vorst-nationaal-uitbaten~a13aad58/
  8. ^ "Rénovation Forest National". architectura.be. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Sport.be". www.sport.be. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Forest National-Vorst Nationaal at Wikimedia Commons