ESSMA Stadium Industry Updates -16 April

Chelsea FC buys land near Stamford Bridge, AC Milan elevates Fan Experience with Front Row Initiative, Liverpool FC to complete installation of Rail Seating at Anfield, and much more in the latest Stadium Industry Updates!

Chelsea FC Buys Land Near Stamford Bridge but Stadium Future still Undecided

Chelsea FC has acquired a 1.2-acre plot of land adjacent to Stamford Bridge, further expanding their footprint around the stadium.

 While this purchase reduces the likelihood of the club relocating, plans for a new stadium have not been finalized or disclosed.

The current Stamford Bridge site presents challenges for renovation due to its proximity to transportation lines. Moving to a new stadium would require negotiation with Chelsea Pitch Owners, who hold the freehold to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's COO expressed appreciation for the collaboration with Stoll and the local council in ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of the club.

Chelsea is not expected to take possession of the site until the end of 2025 at the earliest

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2024/apr/10/chelsea-keep-stadium-options-open-despite-deal-for-land-next-to-stamford-bridge

AC Milan Elevates Fan Experience with Front Row Initiative

AC Milan has introduced the Club 1899 Front Row Experience at San Siro stadium, providing pitch-level seats akin to NBA courtside seating.

This premium offering includes exclusive services like a private concierge and personalized hospitality. The initiative reflects AC Milan's dedication to innovation and luxury, aiming to appeal to football enthusiasts and those seeking a high-end lifestyle.

Despite some opposition, the project is advancing, demonstrating Milan's commitment to enhancing both the matchday experience and its infrastructure for the future.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/68795640

Liverpool FC to Complete Installation of Rail Seating at Anfield

Liverpool FC is set to complete the installation of rail seating in the remaining sections of the Kop ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Following successful trials last season and the acquisition of a safe-standing license, the club began a phased installation program. Access to seats will not be affected during this process, and affected supporters will be contacted directly.

The introduction of rail seating follows a safety review by the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and aligns with regulations allowing standing in Premier League and Championship stadiums.

This marks a significant development for Liverpool, especially considering the historical context of standing restrictions following the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2024/04/09/liverpool-to-install-rail-seating-in-remainder-of-the-kop/

Newcastle United Revolutionizes Matchday Experience for Fans with hearing loss.

Newcastle United, with support from sponsor Sela and RNID, is pioneering a 'Unsilence the Crowd' initiative to improve the matchday experience for fans with hearing loss.

Special 'haptic' shirts will provide real-time touch sensations of stadium noise. RNID branding on players' shirts marks the first appearance of a hearing loss charity on a Premier League shirt.

The aim is to raise awareness and improve accessibility in live sports events. Additionally, Sela is involved in enhancing the St. James' Park experience and exploring future stadium development options.

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2024/04/12/newcastle-seeks-to-unsilence-the-crowd-for-fans-with-hearing-loss/

Valence Romans Drôme Rugby Unveils Ambitious Plans for New Stadium.

Valence Romans Drôme Rugby (VRDR) is embarking on an ambitious project to build a new stadium, Koesio Stadium, in Rovaltain, with financial backing from local entrepreneur Pieric Brenier.

 The stadium, designed as an English-style multi-purpose venue, will initially seat 7,000 spectators and accommodate cultural and corporate events. With a projected cost of €44m, Brenier will contribute €32m, while government funds and VRDR will cover the rest.

Construction is expected to start in 2026, with completion targeted for two years later. The aim is to establish VRDR in the top tier of French rugby union, supported by the club's Damiers 2029 project.

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2024/04/12/new-stadium-seeks-to-boost-vrdrs-top-14-vision/

Real Zaragoza's Ambitious Stadium Revamp for the 2030 FIFA World Cup

Real Zaragoza is undergoing a significant redevelopment of Estadio La Romareda.

The current capacity of the stadium, standing at around 33,000, is set to be significantly expanded to accommodate 43,184 spectators, with a majority of seats dedicated to general admission

The project, led by architecture firm IDOM, will unfold in five phases starting in July 2024, with efforts to maintain a minimum capacity of 20,000 during construction.

The 150m project shows Real Zaragoza's commitment to modernizing Estadio La Romareda and elevating its stature on the global stage

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2024/04/09/real-zaragoza-to-begin-stadium-redevelopment-this-summer/

Paris Olympics to Feature Purple Track at Stade de France

The Paris Olympics will showcase a unique purple track at the Stade de France, departing from the traditional red-brick clay color.

Produced in Italy, the track is meticulously laid down by workers, promising improved performance with advanced materials.

Sports manager Alain Blondel anticipates record-breaking achievements on this high-quality track.

This color choice reflects the Games' palette, alongside blue and green, and represents a commitment to excellence in both aesthetics and performance.

Read more at: https://apnews.com/article/paris-olympics-purple-track-records-aa0faed89e710c2281c352efb7777b8a

Groundworks started at Everton Stadium for Pitch Construction

Groundworks have started at Everton Stadium to prepare for the construction of the playing surface.

Contractors have begun underground works, starting with digging out the piling mat, a recycled stone layer, to create a solid surface.

Ben Williams, overseeing the project, elaborated on the process, including installing pitchside ducting and utilities.

The next steps involve building up layers for the pitch, including impermeable membranes, drainage systems, heating pipes, and a gravel layer.

Grass seeding is expected to begin in August, followed by the stitching of synthetic fibers into the grass for added stability and longevity.

Read more at: https://www.evertonfc.com/news/3963490/pitch-preparations-begin-at-evertons-future-home

Brentford Introduces Data-Driven Highlights for Fans at Gtech Community Stadium

Brentford introduces a Premier League first by offering fans data-driven highlights of games at Gtech Community Stadium.

Partnering with Genius Sports, they will debut augmented highlights during matches, including shot speeds, player names, and pitch maps. Gtech's logo will feature in the clips, creating new advertising opportunities.

These highlights, powered by Genius Sports' Dragon technology, aim to provide fans with deeper insights into each play.

Brentford's marketing services director, Steve Watts, emphasizes the club's commitment to enhancing the fan experience through innovative initiatives.

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2024/04/09/brentford-to-set-premier-league-first-with-data-driven-highlights/