ESSMA Stadium Development Seminar: close look at European stadium projects

The ESSMA Summit 2017 opened with the Stadium Development Seminar, providing insights in different European stadium projects. The seminar welcomed 250 people, which is more than twice the amount of participants compared to last year’s edition in Bilbao. 

To start, ESSMA presented its focus and strategy for 2017 on Stadium Development. Through the development of structural Stadium Development Reports, the content of the Stadium In Construction Database will be shared with the ESSMA community in a more convenient way. The first Stadium Development Report will be presented by the end of March 2017.

The Stadium Development Seminar Presentations are available for download for all ESSMA Members. Login to the member site and go to 'Knowledge Database'.


Stadium Kantrida  

Drazen Kalac, Stadium Manager of Kantrida Stadium presented the case of Croatian first division club CFC Rijeka. The long term strategy of the new investors and president lead to the idea of creating a new stadium and training center.

The new training center has been realized in just 11 months, containing 5 football fields, meeting requirements for professional football and a West Stand for 6000 fans. The complex will allow the club to develop young talented players and provide perfect training facilities for the first team of the club.

On the current location of the existing stadium a new stadium will be developed. This new stadium will focus on more than football and will contain sport, recreation and fun. The aim is to provide entertainment 365 days a year. The construction cost of the 14 000 seater, including 3000 VIP seats, is estimated around 40 million euros. The revenues generated from the integration of a hotel and shopping center should cover the maintenance expenses of the stadium.


Feijenoord City

Jan Van Merwijk, Director of Feijenoord Stadium, better known as ‘De Kuip’ started with an overview of the rich history of this traditional stadium. De Kuip has hosted over 100 games for the Dutch National team and 11 European finals. However, the last major renovation dates from 1994 and the stadium doesn’t fulfill the demands of future spectators anymore. Therefore, several attempts have already been launched to develop a new stadium, but none of them has been successful so far.

These projects provided lessons learned for a new larger redevelopment: the stadium had to be more than business, the role of emotions couldn’t be denied.

Communication and input from the fans plays a vital role in this as well and also the cooperation with the city is a crucial factor for success. The new project is part of a larger project, focusing on the benefits of club and city. The stadium must be more than just a stadium development, it must be unique and have an iconic design.

This should result in a 3-tier stadium with an overall capacity of 60 000 seats, retractable roof and 6000 business seats. In order to provide fans the unique atmosphere of the Kuip, the inner bowl of the old stadium will be copied, with improved sight lines. The new stadium is planned to open in the 2022-2023 season.

At the end of the complete redevelopment project, the old stadium will be redeveloped into an athletic stadium, containing appartments and a museum. The old and new stadium will be connected through a strip, offering exhibitions, education, innovation and entertainment.


B Futura – Serie B

Lorenzo Santoni, Head of BFutura gave an update on the infrastructural development in the Serie B, Italies second division. The Cagliari stadium project was presented last year in Bilbao and during the course of 2016, the stadium has been approved and the change of zoning from sport to commercial area has been realized as well. During the redevelopment of the old stadium, a temporary stadium will be built just next to the construction works. This will enable fans to easily follow-up construction progress. The stadium will open in the 2019-2020 season.

The Pescara project was the second to be presented. The project has been delayed through issues with architectural heritage. The Y-shaped pillars of the stadium arch will have to be integrated into the new stadium design. Last update on last year’s project focused on the Avellino project, which is developed by the club itself.

Lastly, Lorenzo Santoni presented 3 new stadium projects, Vicenza (12 000), Crotone (18 000), Bassano (5000) and a new stadium for Lampedusa, which is more of a solidarity stadium project.


Generali Arena

FK Austria Wien, record title holder in the Austrian league (24 titles), has known a long-lasting growth, in which the club redeveloped their stadium on multiple occasions. Alexander Munda, Marketing Manager of the club presented the stadium plans of the new Generali Arena, which should open in 2018.

At the centre of the whole project are 3 ideas: 1) the club needs to be integrated in the development of the city 2) the project should lead to a sustainable development of a whole area 3) the experience for stakeholders must be convenient and comfortable. For the total project, containing stadium, training facilities, academy and regional youth center, the club will spend 48 million euros.

Construction works for the stadium started in June 2016 and are planned to be finished in July 2018. The stadium will be UEFA category 4 and accessible for 17 500 fans. The north and west stand will be redeveloped and new hospitality and event areas will be created. The total construction of the stadium is 42 million euros.


FC Bayern Training Center

Jürgen Muth, ESSMA’s new Advisory Committee Member and CEO of the Allianz Arena presented the new training center that is currently under construction. The club has been using the sports complex on Säbener Strasse since 1949. At this training centre, the club has 6 training grounds, which are all used at full capacity. This forced the club to look at alternatives to expand their training facilities.

FC Bayern München purchased old barracks, formerly used by armed forces in the north of Munich. The new training complex will have an academy, integrated in the main building, containing up to 80 residential areas for young players. Additionally, this academy will have 4 team areas including changing rooms and multiple areas for physio-technical and medical athletes.

Next to the main building, a clubhouse will contain the club’s restaurant and medical praxis consultable both for players and third parties. On the opposite side of this clubhouse, the central venue is being constructed.

This venue has a capacity of 2500 seats, divided over 3 stands. A fourth stand has been renounced as multifunctional building. Changing rooms are on the ground floor, the upper floors will be for the operation departments.

In the southern part of the complex, a multifunctional indoor hall will be built, used for other ball sports such as handball or basketball.

In October 2014 the construction planning started and the project is planned to be ready for the summer of 2017. The total budget of the training complex is estimated at 70 million euros.


The Stadium Development Seminar Presentations are available for download for all ESSMA Members. Login to the member site and go to 'Knowledge Database'.


We look forward to welcoming you all back next year in Dublin, 16-18 January 2018 at the iconic AVIVA Stadium.

Posted on 27/01/2017 in: