Stadium Industry Update: Historic club opens new stadium, new plans to increase sustainability & much, much more...

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Stadium development

Historic Greek Soccer Club AEK Athens Opens New Stadium 

The OPAP Arena, this is the new name for the stadium that AEK Athens constructed. The official opening of the OPAP Arena will take place on Friday I the wester suburb of Nea Philadelphia.

The OPAP Arena will have a capacity of 30,000 .

The construction of the stadium began on July 28, 2017 at the site of the old Nikos Goumas Stadium. The stadium will have an unique underground road system that the teams will use to enter the stadium.

Construction has suffered from major delays due to local authorities taking too long on confirming certain proposals, regarding the road system. Construction finally began in 2020.

It's already possible to take a virtual tour: OPAP Arena Virtual Tour

©️  AEK Athens, OPAP Arena

Northwestern University Shares Plans for New $800 Million Football Stadium

Chicago’s Northwestern University has announced plans to construct a new stadium which will reportedly cost 800 million dollars. The project will be entirely privately funded. The stadium will have a capacity of 35.000 after construction. This means there will be 12 000 seats added -on.

The project is due to be completed in 2026 and will focus on upgrading concession stands and updating scoreboards and technology within the stadium. The stadium will be surrounded by public plazas, a park and will feature other public greenspaces for fans during gamedays and other events.

Wichita State soccer clubs anticipate growth with stadium renovations 

Wichita State University (Fairmount, USA) released new renderings of what its Cessna Stadium may look like after renovations. The project will be carried out in 4 phases and will cost 51 million dollars. The first two phases include the implementation of a regulation-sized field and re-configuring the 8 -lane track around the field. The renovated stadium’s capacity will be a little over 10.000.  Phase 2 will focus on the demolition of the west side of the stadium, which will be rebuild with press boxes and suites, offices, locker rooms etc. Furthermore, phase 2 will also see the renovation of the plaza in front of the west side where space will be created for food trucks and merchandising outlets.

Romania’s FC Arges planning new €100m stadium 

Romanian Liga 1 football club FC Arges has detailed plans for a new stadium. The new stadium will have 15,200 seats and would be a UEFA Category 4 venue. This means the stadium can host international matches. The plans for the stadium include solar panels, electric car charging stations,14 boxes, a multi-purpose room and around 550 parking spaces.

The funding of this 100 Million EUR project will come from Romania’s Compania Nationala de Investitii, with any remaining expenses, covered by the local authorities.

UEFA backs new national stadium in Latvia 

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has pledged the governing body’s financial support for the construction of a new international stadium in the city of Riga. During a visit, the president of UEFA met with members of the national government and held discussions with Latvian Football Federation.

Three possible sites have been identified for the stadium and it is hoped that construction could begin within the next few years.

Fan experience

KAA Gent takes measures against non-paying supporters 

Belgian first division team KAA Gent want to stop spectators from not paying. The club noted that many spectators sneak in during half-time by mixing with smokers outside the stadium. Since May 2021, supporters are no longer allowed to smoke inside the stadium, so they go outside but this creates an opportunity for fans without tickets to sneak into the stadium. The club wants to counter this by erecting high fences so no one can enter unpaid. "It's about the safety of others" the club's management commented.

Fewer fans in Pro League stadiums?

The JPL has been investigating the arrival of supporters at the stadium. When they saw the figures, several teams and the league panicked. The figures revealed that 20% fewer supporters come to the stadiums for a match compared to before COVID. Matches where small clubs played against each other showed a 7% drop. There are many reasons why there is a drop, one reason is that the league started much earlier (July). At that time, many people were on holiday etc.

Stadium Operations

Coca-Cola Arena to debut World Tennis League 

Dubai’s Coca Cola Arena will be the host of the upcoming World Tennis League, which will take place from December 19-24. The arena has been designed to combine tennis with entertainment.

The capacity of the Coca Cola arena is 17,000. The venue opened his doors for the first time in 2019.


The roof can support 190 metric tonnes. The front façade od the venue has a lighting system made up of 4,600 LED’s. The Coca Cola Arena can be arranged in an array of different seating and viewing modes including end-stage, in-the-round and intimate mode. The main bowl features four levels. Levels one and four are made up of fixed seating while levels two and three consist of hospitality suites. An extra tier of seating can be added due to automatic retractable seating on the bowl floor

Lega Serie A to pilot UEFA’s sustainability project 

Lega Serie A, organising body of the top division in football in Italy has teamed up with UEFA, to collaborate on a range of sustainability initiatives. The Serie A is the first football league selected by UEFA to carry out a pilot project aimed at defining a clear sustainability strategy for the 2023-2024 season. The plan features 11 themes, including the sustainability of events and the sustainability of infrastructure.

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