Industry update: more on stadium development, ticketing and sustainability

Read more on the development projects of Royal Antwerp FC and AS Monaco, sustainability initiatives at Real Betis, LaLiga’s streaming service and more in ESSMA’s weekly industry update.

SMART and Sustainability 

  • Real Betis joins the UN’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, committing to take action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and to compensate the rest. In addition, the club has committed to becoming a platform and a facilitator for raising awareness about the urgency of climate action among its worldwide fans. At Estadio Benito Villamarín, smart illumination systems are being installed as well as measures to reduce their single use plastic. Furthermore, Real Betis’ new sports city will feature renewable energy generation on site, advanced waste collection and efficient energy applications.
  • As part as Kia Oval’s commitment to reduce its single use plastics, fans of Surry County Cricket Club are given a 30 pence discount when purchasing hot drinks such as tea and coffee in reusable cups.

Development & Construction 

  • AS Monaco presented the renderings for its Legends Skyboxes at Stade Louis II. In total 18 new skyboxes of 16m2 will be constructed with a total capacity of 144 VIPs. Each skybox will represent highlights of the club’s history. The facilities will offer new reception areas with all the necessary comfort for VIP clients; fully open to the game with folding glass partitions and with direct access from the car park. The delivery of the project is scheduled for August, in time for the 2019/20 season.


  • For the remaining play-off matches of the season, Royal Antwerp FC installed a temporary stand to answer to the demand of their fans. An additional 700 fans will be able to enjoy the play-off matches on the temporary additional stand.
  • The Royal Belgian Football Association and the organisation of Memorial Van Damme join forces to revamp King Baudouin Stadium, which is in need of a full renovation. The plan is to reduce the stadium’s capacity from 50,000 to 40,000. Furthemore, the athletics track around the pitch will be preserved to host the annual Memorial Van Damme. As part of the project, the stadium will be renamed Golden Generation Arena. The total cost is estimated around €150-200 million and the stadium should be operational by 2022.

Operations & Ticketing

  • Kia Oval launched a free mobile ticketing app which allows fans to view, transfer or send their tickets at any time. With the mobile ticketing initiative, Kia Oval aims to take all paper tickets out of circulation, in line with their sustainability policy. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

General News

  • ESSMA Corporate Partner SGL organised its 2019 SGL Masterclass on 20-21 March in Madrid. Over 100 grounds managers had the opportunity to visit Santiago Bernabéu, Ciudad Real Madrid and Wanda Metropolitano to discuss topics on the latest developments in terms of data and performance.

"Seeing data being used in the sports industry to analyse and improve performance, to monitor physical conditions, to perfect techniques, to improve stadium safety and efficiency, it’s only logical that pitch maintenance should be at the same level of data usage to improve pitch and player performance."

  • LaLiga presented a new OTT (Over The Top) service, named LaLigaSportsTV. The streaming service offers a large selection of different sports to meet the demands of every Spanish fan. Even less popular sports such as badminton, canoeing, handball, triathlon and water polo will be addressed and streamed. LaLigaSportsTV will be available via television, smartphones (iOS and Android), tablets and screen mirroring.