ESSMA Stadium Industry Updates 28 November

PSG reportedly considering Parc des Princes renovation

Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint-Germain is continuing to explore plans for major renovation work at the Parc des Princes despite uncertainty over its future at the 48,000-capacity stadium. French newspaper L’Équipe has reported that PSG would consider adding a roof and a retractable pitch to the Parc des Princes as part of an ambitious expansion project. The stadium is owned by the City Council of Paris and PSG would need to acquire the venue in order to carry out any major renovation work.

PSG has a number of options on the table and L’Équipe’s report added that the club is still keen on submitting a bid to buy the Stade de France. PSG would have to submit a bid to buy the Stade de France by January 3.

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Sheffield FC teams up with rugby league club on new stadium venture

Non-league football club Sheffield FC and rugby league team Sheffield Eagles have detailed plans for a new 5,000-seat stadium in the city as part of a joint venture project.

Sheffield FC is recognised by FIFA as the oldest existing football club and currently plays in Dronfield, Derbyshire. The Eagles compete in the Championship, the second tier of rugby league in England.

The new stadium would be based at the former Sheffield Transport Sports Club site at Meadowhead. As well as football and rugby league facilities, it would include a cricket pavilion, a football museum and an indoor community sports hall.

It is hoped the site will become an “international visitor attraction” for football and rugby league fans alike and provide an insight into the history of both clubs. The stadium would adhere to both English Football League and Super League criteria.

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Mayor of London rejects Sphere arena plans

Plans for a new Sphere arena in London have been rejected by Mayor Sadiq Khan on the grounds that the current proposals would have an “unacceptable negative impact” on local residents.

Sphere Entertainment, formerly known as Madison Square Garden Entertainment, is seeking to build a venue with 17,500 seats in the heart of Stratford, East London. The company recently opened a Sphere venue in the US city of Las Vegas, with the arena featuring the world’s largest LED screen.

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Cardiff indoor arena to start enabling works soon

Cardiff Council has said revised plans for a new 15,000-capacity indoor arena are now set to move into the delivery phase, with enabling works scheduled to commence in January.

The project – a circa €287.3m investment into Cardiff Bay – is part of the overall Atlantic Wharf Masterplan, which is expected to create thousands of new jobs in the Welsh capital.

The Council said Cabinet members will hear how the project is self-financing in the long term and will be recommended to sign the development and funding agreement with Live Nation, which will commit to the future long-term lease of the venue so that construction works can begin.

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Mental health awareness shop opens in Avicii Arena

The ‘Break The Silence’ initiative has been unveiled at the Avicii Arena in Stockholm with the aim of raising awareness around young people’s mental health.

Launching lats Thursday in the Swedish capital, a new shop inside the 15,000-seater venue has opened its doors and is selling exclusive items such as a limited-edition cap designed by artist ANJI.

Instead of paying with money, customers can scan a QR code and answer a few questions focused around their emotional state at that moment. From there, a digital receipt will be sent and the items can be collected.

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Newcastle begins ‘formal process’ to explore St. James’ Park expansion

Newcastle United chief executive Darren Eales has confirmed that the Premier League club has started a “formal process” to assess the possibility of expanding St. James’ Park.

During a supporter engagement event held at the stadium last Wednesday, Eales confirmed that a “world-leading” agency is looking at a stadium feasibility study.

Eales also said that a survey would be sent out to fans in the next couple of weeks to gather their thoughts on a potential stadium expansion.

With a capacity of 52,000, St. James’ Park is among the bigger stadiums in the Premier League, but expansion has been restricted by its proximity to residential areas.

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Plans for new Aalborg football stadium

Plans have been announced for a new 30,000-capacity football stadium and a 12,000-capacity arena in Aalborg, Denmark.

The plans have been backed by Danish second-tier club AaB, the Danish Football Union (DBU), and Aalborg’s ice hockey and handball teams.

SIFA, an umbrella organisation for sports federations in the town, is also supporting the plans, along with the Spar Nord Arena, Aalborg Væddeløpsbane (Aalborg Racecourse), the Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center, and Erhverv Norddanmark, a local business development agency.

The plans also include a modernisation of the Aalborg Kongres & Kulture Center, which currently has a capacity of 3,000 and is used for exhibitions and concerts.

“The starting point for the vision is that Aalborg, as a regional capital, must be able to host international sporting events in all major sports, just as Aalborg must be able to hold concerts and trade fairs on a large scale,” said Rasmus Haugaard, chairman of Erhverv Norddanmark.

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Liverpool FC to partially open Anfield Road Stand next month

Premier League football club Liverpool has confirmed that the upper tier of the expanded Anfield Road Stand will be partially open for the match against Manchester United on December 17. The project has been hit by delays after Buckingham Group Contracting, which had been leading the €92m/$100m expansion, entered administration in September. The expansion of the stand will add 7,000 seats to Anfield and increase the stadium’s overall capacity to 61,000. The new stand had initially been due to open for the start of this season, but Liverpool confirmed in July that Anfield would operate at a reduced capacity for the opening exchanges of the campaign due to delays in the delivery.

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Stadio Tre Fontane adapted for AS Roma Women’s Champions League

Italian Serie A Femminine football club AS Roma has played its first match at a revamped Stadio Tre Fontane following upgrades carried out to bring the facility up to UEFA Women’s Champions League standards. Roma, the reigning Serie A champion, has been forced to play European games away from its home ground as it failed to meet UEFA guidelines, but latsThursday) returned to defeat Ajax 3-0 in this season’s Champions League group stage.

Stadio Tre Fontane is also home to Roma’s men’s youth team and has been upgraded as part of a joint project between the club, Rome’s Department of Major Events, Sport, Tourism and Fashion and stadium operator ATI Tre Fontane. The various upgrades carried out include the installation of a new lighting system, the division of the stands into sectors with the installation of 3,000 new seats for fans, and the creation of a media centre. With further improvements planned, Councillor for Major Events, Sport, Tourism and Fashion, Alessandro Onorato, said: “We managed to break a bureaucratic stalemate that had dragged on since 2018.

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Wembley Stadium to crack down on tailgating to improve security after Euro 2020 final

A trio of key priorities have been identified to improve security at Wembley Stadium following the events surrounding the UEFA Euro 2020 final. In the wake of the publication of Baroness Casey’s independent review back in December 2021 into the significant levels of public disorder before and during the event, Football Association (FA) chief executive, Mark Bullingham, apologised for the “terrible experience” many suffered within Wembley. The independent review stated the “appalling scenes of disorder” which marred the Euro 2020 final came “perilously close to putting lives at risk” and a new stocktake report from Baroness Casey, providing an update on progress made following initial recommendations, has now been released. The latest report states that Wembley Stadium must continue to work with the government to improve and formalise the delivery of major events, including the introduction of legislation to stop fans tailgating.

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LDLC Arena opens up with EuroLeague game

LDLC Arena, France’s largest indoor arena outside of Paris, has staged its first major event amid question marks over the ownership situation for the Lyon venue.

The €141m venue has become home to the EuroLeague matches of LNB Pro A club LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne, with a crowd of 11,354 attending yesterday (Thursday) evening’s narrow 101-100 defeat to Bayern Munich. LDLC Arena has been designed by Populous, which was also responsible for the adjacent 59,186-capacity Groupama Stadium and Training Centre, completed in 2016. The Arena has a capacity of 16,000 for concerts promoted by the global entertainment group and non-exclusive commercial partner Live Nation, and around 12,000 for sporting events.

It has also been designed to accommodate a range of other events such as large-scale seminars, trade shows, futsal, tennis and esports competitions. Work on the arena commenced in January 2022 and it is expected to host between 100 to 120 events per year.

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