Levante UD’s stadium refurbishment masterplan

Luis Cervera Torres - Operations and Project Director at Levante UD - gave participants of the ESSMA Summit Stadium Development seminar the latest updates on the club’s masterplan for a major renovation of Ciutat de Valencia.

Current situation

Levante’s current stadium, Ciutat de Valencia, was built between 1968 and 1969. Though many improvements have been made over the last couple of years, the stadium has gotten outdated. It cannot be expanded, as the surrounding land is owned by the city council. However, the current stadium needs to be improved drastically to be in compliance with LaLiga’s broadcasting requirements and to offer fans a better matchday experience.

Levante UD created a masterplan for a major stadium refurbishment, which outlines their vision of what a modern stadium should be and solves the problems of current infrastructure that has become outdated and needs to be replaced. This plan was approved by the General Assembly in December 2018.

Main challenges

The current Ciutat de Valencia is facing the following challenges:

  • 350 VIP seats at a total capacity of 25,000
  • The stadium is 14 meters high which makes integration of lighting systems and SkyCams at the required (or optimal) heights difficult
  • Only one of the stands is currently covered by a roof structure 
  • Sound system barely meets the safety and emergency standards and doesn't contribute to the fan experience
  • The stadium features one (small) video screen which is only visible for 75% of the spectators
  • Intensity of the lighting is too low for TV broadcast
  • The stadium facade is formed by a canvas which is not a part of the architectural design and doesn’t speak to the visitor’s imagination 

Key elements of the stadium masterplan

The main objectives of the stadium renovation are to:

  • Fulfill the broadcasting regulations
  • Add a new roof
  • Solve the problem of lighting 
  • Integrate a new SkyCam
  • Create a new concept for the overall fan experience 

Renovation works will be carried out in two phases. Phase 1 is planned to start in April and should be finished by the beginning of the 2019/20 season. It includes:

  • Implementation of 2 brand-new video screens to enhance the fan experience 
  • Implementation of a new, state-of-the-art sound system 
  • Installation of a new roof structure which will consist of a tensioned membrane with a lightweight cable structure supported on perimeter metal pillars 
  • Integration of a new SkyCam at the required height 
  • Integration of a new lighting system at the optimal height

Phase 2 is planned to start in 2020 and will consist of:

  • A complete renovation of the interior (business) spaces and stadium access to create more room and use it more efficiently 
  • Adding new hospitality areas and VIP boxes with a capacity increase of 1,000 VIPs
  • Adding new commercial areas, a museum and a restaurant
  • Rerouting the stadium access to the stands to use the space more efficiently 
  • Updating the stadium facade to reflect the club’s identity. The dynamic, mosaic design was inspired by the club’s proximity to the beach and by paintings from famous Spanish artist Sorolla, who was born in Valencia

  Main takeaways:

  • Use all the available space in your stadium as efficiently as possible to create additional revenue streams
  • Video screens and sound systems are an integral part of not only the security but also the fan experience
  • A low stadium does not affect the city skyline but can have negative results in terms of light pollution or the integration of SkyCams
  • Plan renovation works around your sport calendar so they don’t disturb your fans
  • The exterior stadium design should reflect the identity of the club

Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures.

Access his presentation on the ESSMA Knowledge Platform