Stadium Industry update 4 April 2023
The latest updates from the stadium industry!
Safe standing trials at St. James’ Park to commence next season
St. James’ Park
Premier League football club Newcastle United has announced that safe standing will be introduced for home fans at St. James’ Park as part of an initial trial period at the start of the 2023-24 season. A designated licensed standing section with space for around 1,800 home supporters will be installed in the South East corner of the stadium. The space will include the lower section of block B and the upper sections of blocks C, D, E and F, while a similar provision will be installed for visiting supporters on Level 7 of the Leazes End.
Everton fans can get names engraved on Everton Way
Credits: Everton FC
Premier League football club Everton is giving fans the chance to have their names engraved on a paved walkway outside of its new stadium on Bramley-Moore Dock. The club said that ‘Everton Way’ will be a major feature of the stadium site and celebrate its identity, history and famous players. Season ticket members and other supporter groups were able to take advantage of a limited priority period to buy the personalised stones, which will be laid and run the length of the exterior of the single-tier south stand. The engraved stones are now on general sale.
Read more at https://evertonway.com/#/book/select-products
West Ham considering acquisition of London Stadium
Premier League football club West Ham United is reportedly open to the possibility of buying London Stadium, its home venue since 2016. The Times, citing sources close to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, who acquired a 27-per-cent stake in West Ham in November 2021, reported that the 47-year-old would consider an outright purchase of the stadium. London Stadium served as the centrepiece of the 2012 Olympic Games. It is owned by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), with West Ham renting the stadium under a 99-year lease.
Galatasaray SK to introduce safe standing
Turkish Süper Lig football club Galatasaray is working on increasing capacity at its Nef Stadyumu by introducing safe standing areas to the stadium. The Istanbul club’s plans have been disclosed by board member Bora Bahçetepe. “If we get spectators standing behind the goal, the stadium capacity will increase by eight to 10 thousand people,” he said, according to Turkish newspaper Hürriyet. “UEFA gave permission, we will get permission from the TFF (Turkish Football Federation) and the police.”
European Commission challenging use of EU funds for Italian stadium projects
Credits: Venezia FC
The Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, has hit out after it emerged that the European Commission is challenging the Italian Government’s proposed usage of money from the bloc’s COVID-19 recovery fund for the redevelopment of the Stadio Artemio Franchi, along with stadium and arena projects planned for Venice.
The European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility is designed to mitigate the economic and social impact of the pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.
The Facility allows the Commission to raise funds to help member states implement reforms and investments that are in line with the EU’s priorities and that address the challenges identified in country-specific recommendations under the European Semester framework of economic and social policy coordination. It makes available €723.8bn in loans and grants for this purpose.
Forest Green Rovers ranks first in sustainability in among EFL clubs
Credits: Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers has been ranked as the most sustainable club in the English Football League, according to a new study collated by Sport Positive, which supports the sports industry towards increased action and ambition on climate change. The Sport Positive Leagues have gathered a large cross-section of information on the environmental sustainability efforts of clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two. It has shared information and rankings for each division and also collated this into a combined league. Forest Green, which has been identified by FIFA as the greenest football club in the world, ranked first in both the League One and combined league with a perfect score. In the Championship, the top three clubs were Bristol City, Norwich City and Watford.
Real Valladolid presents stadium expansion plans
David Espinar, presidential adviser at Real Valladolid, has revealed more details of the Spanish LaLiga football club’s plans to expand the Estadio José Zorrilla and its wider sports city project. Earlier this month, Valladolid City Council approved a new concession deal with the club that will see the redevelopment of the José Zorrilla in three phases. The deal will see Real pay €224,563 (£198,031/$245,190) per year to be the anchor tenant of the city-owned stadium for 50 years. Espinar has now revealed that around €40m will be spent on improving the stadium itself. The stadium is set for a new roof that will cover three of the stands, while a new façade will be introduced
Vitesse secures lease extension for Gelredome
Credits: Vitesse SBV
Vitesse Arnhem has secured a new lease deal to continue playing at the GelreDome, ending a dispute that threatened the future of the Dutch Eredivisie football club. After what Vitesse said were “intensive negotiations”, the club yesterday (Thursday) announced it has reached an agreement with stadium owner Nedstede to extend the lease through to October 1, 2030. Vitesse last month said it was confident it will continue to play in the GelreDome next season, despite losing a court case concerning its long-running stadium lease deal dispute. Vitesse initially opted to cancel its lease agreement at the GelreDome back in September 2018 as it sought to strike a better deal to play at the stadium.
Manchester United reportedly opting for Old Trafford redevelopment project
Manchester United’s current ownership is reportedly in favour of the redevelopment of Old Trafford rather than the construction of a new stadium, amid ongoing questions over the future stewardship of the English Premier League football club. United’s owners, the Glazer family, are currently in the midst of fielding investment offers for the club, with stadium development also on the agenda. In November, United launched a process that will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club and a sale.
At present, three bidders have gone public with their interest in United – Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder and chief executive of chemicals group Ineos; Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank; and Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus, founder and chairman of social media company novaM Group