ESSMA Stadium Industry Updates 14 November

Andalucia seeking to become Spain's national stadium, Glasgow Rangers considering Ibrox expansion, GAA renovating Croke park and much more in our latest Stadium Industry Updates.

Andalucía seeks to make La Cartuja Spain’s national stadium

 Andalucía has detailed plans to make a €20m investment in Seville’s Estadio de la Cartuja, with a view to transforming it into Spain’s “national stadium”.

The autonomous community’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Arturo Bernal, told Canal Sur Radio that the funds are designed to expand La Cartuja’s capacity up to 75,000 seats. The stadium has a current capacity of 57,600.

The intention is for La Cartuja to become a venue akin to Wembley Stadium in London, England or the Stade de France in Paris. Bernal said that €5m has already been invested in improvements after a project drawn up by Andalucía’s previous administration to demolish the stadium was scrapped.

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Glasgow Rangers reportedly considering Ibrox Expansion

Scottish Premiership football club Rangers is reportedly weighing up a potential expansion of Ibrox that would significantly increase the capacity of the stadium.

The expansion could see the capacity of Ibrox increase from 51,000 to 70,000, according to The Herald. The newspaper stressed that an expansion of this scale would be “a long way off” and is merely one of the options being considered by Rangers.

The extra seats would be added in the Copland and Broomloan stands, but discussions have also taken place around a smaller-scale expansion of the stadium.

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GAA starts €12m renovation of Croke Park

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has commenced work on a €12m refurbishment of the Cusack Stand at Croke Park, with fans set to be given the chance to purchase limited-edition seats from the Dublin venue. The old Cusack Stand was demolished after the 1993 All-Ireland Football Final and the current structure opened in 1996 as the first part of a wider stadium redevelopment. The GAA-owned Croke Park has a capacity of 82,500, with the Cusack Stand seating 27,000 fans. The refurbishment will include replacing the seats and upgrading the conference centre, suites and bathrooms. The heating system will also become more energy-efficient.

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Ligue 1 sets new matchday attendance record

France’s Ligue 1 has set a new record attendance for a single match week as an average of 31,484 fans attended fixtures at the weekend. The average attendance surpasses the previous record of 31,351, which was set on the penultimate weekend of last season.

The 2022-23 campaign marked the final season that Ligue 1 was contested by 20 teams. For this season, the number has been reduced to 18. Despite the reduction in the number of teams, France’s Professional Football League (LFP) said that the total attendance across the 11 match weeks so far this season is 2.66 million – a new record. The average attendance for Ligue 1 matches so far this season is 27,141, a 14% increase compared to last season. The stadium occupancy rate has also reached a record level of 85%, compared to 81% in 2022-23.

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Florence to launch tender for Stadio Artemio Franchi redevelopment

The Municipality of Florence has fired the starting gun on a tender process to secure a partner to undertake the redevelopment of the Stadio Artemio Franchi after the executive project drawn up by the Italian division of engineering and design consultancy Arup was approved. Following approval of the executive project, the Municipality has said tender procedures for the redevelopment of the stadium originally designed by renowned architect Pier Luigi Nervi can now begin. It is expected that the tender documents will be issued on Friday, with a deadline for submitting offers having been set for December 11.

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 Allianz Arena set to welcome major concerts

Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich, is set to become a concert venue for the first time through a deal that will see it step in whilst the German Bundesliga football club’s former home, Olympiastadion, undergoes redevelopment. Through the deal between Allianz Arena München Stadion (MSG) and Olympiapark München (OMG), 20 years after football moved from the Olympiastadion to Allianz Arena, open-air concerts are now due to be held at the latter venue between 2025 and 2027. Renovation work recently began at the Olympiastadion, as a result of which the stadium will have to be completely closed from autumn 2025 through to at least spring 2027. MSG, OMG and the State Capital of Munich (LHM) are currently regulating how the suspension of the usage restrictions in the leasehold agreement between MSG and LHM will be achieved through an agreement that has yet to be concluded.

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Independent football regulator set to be introduced

Plans for the introduction of an independent football regulator have been confirmed in the King’s Speech, with the sale or relocation of stadiums one of the matters that will require approval going forward. King Charles said the regulator will seek to put fans back at the “heart of football” and help to deliver a sustainable future for all clubs. It follows on from the 2019 manifesto commitment to conduct a fan-led review of football. In February, the UK government confirmed plans to introduce an independent regulator for men’s professional football. The regulator will oversee the financial sustainability of English football from the top-tier Premier League to the fifth-tier National League.

In the future, clubs that seek to sell or relocate their stadiums will require approval from the regulator. Clubs will also be required to demonstrate how they have consulted their fans as part of this process.

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3D Digital Venue launches cutting-edge new website

3D Digital Venue is thrilled to announce the launch of its brand-new website, marking a significant milestone in the company’s commitment to revolutionising the sports, performance, and arts sectors.

The new website boasts six carefully curated sections, each designed to offer a deep dive into the diverse world of 3D Digital Venue services and technological solutions.

Whether you’re looking for cutting-edge innovations in venue virtualisation, seamless ticketing solutions, or interactive fan engagement, the company’s website is a gateway to it all. We invite all users to dive into 3D Digital Venue extensive collection of digitalised venues, including world-renowned venues like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Manchester City.”

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Everton details scale of south stand in latest stadium update

Premier League football club Everton has released images showcasing the scale of the steep-tiered south stand at its new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is due to open in 2024. Everton announced that virtually all of the double-stepped concrete terracing units are now in place in the stand, which will have a capacity of over 13,000 once complete.

Blue seats will now be installed in the upper sections of the stadium as part of the ongoing programme which has spread across the north stand. Everton marked a new milestone last month as it installed the first seats at the 52,888-capacity stadium, and the club hopes to have all seats in place across the upper tier of the bowl by Christmas. The south stand has also been fitted with glazing on the second-level concourse. Angled panels, which stretch across the entire face of the stand, have been designed to reflect the water from the nearby Nelson Dock.

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Report details estimated cost of AC Milan’s new stadium

SportLifeCity, the company that owns the site on which AC Milan is planning to build a new stadium, has estimated that the cost of a 70,000-seat facility for the Serie A club will be around €451m. In September, AC Milan officially announced that it was pursuing a new stadium in the San Francesco area of the city. It came after it was reported that the club had acquired a 90% stake in SportLifeCity. Milan said it has “completed the first formal step” towards a new stadium ahead of the potential future submission of a full project plan, by presenting an urban development proposal to the San Donato Milanese council.

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