Stadium Industry Updates - 10 June 2024

Fiorentina calls to suspend stadium redevelopment, good news for Club Brugge's new stadium project, Liga Portugal sets new attendance records and much more in our latetst stadium industry updates.

Report forecasts impact of climate change on rugby union

A new report published by World Rugby has detailed the potential impact that climate change could have on the sport, with one in 10 of the major stadiums researched worldwide projected to be exposed to an annual submersion risk.

Of the 111 venues investigated, almost a third were found to be in cyclone zones and will face amplifications of wind and cyclone activity.

Of the 10 rugby nations studied – Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and USA – eight will face an increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation and flash floods, while six will face 10 or more additional days when playing is not recommended or even impossible due to temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius.

Leyton Orient commits to major solar energy project

English League One football club Leyton Orient has committed to a major solar energy project at its Gaughan Group Stadium which could power the whole venue during the summer months.

The venture will be delivered by Ampergia under a four-year contract which names it the official sustainability partner of the London-based club.

This summer the club will work alongside Ampergia to install state-of-the-art solar panels at Gaughan Group Stadium. Orient states the solar panels are a “significant investment” but, once installed, believes they could save the club up to £1m in energy bill costs over a 10-year period, along with vastly decreasing its carbon footprint.

Fiorentina calls for suspension of Franchi redevelopment

Italian Serie A football club Fiorentina has said it will call on the Municipality of Florence to suspend work on the redevelopment of Stadio Artemio Franchi, stating it is uneasy with the prospect of marking its centenary in 2026 with construction still taking place.

The announcement was made yesterday (Tuesday) by Fiorentina’s newly installed general manager, Alessandro Ferrari, during a press conference unveiling Raffaele Palladino as the club’s new coach.

Fiorentina and the Municipality, which is driving the redevelopment of the Franchi as the stadium’s owner, have been in a variety of disputes throughout the process to secure the long-term future of the historic stadium.

Club Brugge’s long-running stadium pursuit buoyed by permit ruling

Belgian Pro League football team Club Brugge hopes to have made a breakthrough in what has been an over 15-year battle to develop a new stadium after receiving an environmental permit for the project.

The Flemish Government has given the green light to an application from Club and its development arm for the demolition of its existing home, Jan Breydel Stadion, and the construction and operation of a new football stadium with retail activities, parking facilities and a new neighbourhood park.

The latest news comes after Club expressed its frustration in February 2023 as efforts to deliver a new stadium that date back to 2007 were dealt another sizeable blow following the upholding of a complaint against an environmental permit granted in October 2021.

LaLiga launches project to promote technological solutions to increase fan engagement  

LaLiga and sports startup accelerator SportBoost have launched Meet LaLiga EA Sports, the second edition of a programme aimed at promoting technological solutions from startups.

The programme is designed to generate new experiences that can strengthen engagement with current fans and attract new supporters to LaLiga. The next phase will be open until August 19, and the winning startup will receive €10,000 to promote its project.

After the closing date, a jury of experts will analyse the applications before selecting the winning candidates. The candidates will take part in a demo day to present their solutions.

Aulas group agrees deal to buy LDLC Arena

Jean-Michel Aulas, the former president of Olympique Lyonnais, has agreed a deal with the Ligue 1 club’s owners to buy the recently opened LDLC Arena.

Eagle Football Group, which owns Lyon and the arena, has announced  that an agreement has been reached with Aulas’ Holnest company and a group of investors and institutions for the sale of all shares in OL Vallée Arena, the company which operates LDLC Arena.

The deal values OL Vallée Arena at around €160m and is expected to close on June 12. Eagle Football Group said the agreement is in line with its strategy to solely focus on Lyon’s football operation and reduce debt.

Liga Portugal sets new attendance records

 Liga Portugal, organising body of the top two divisions of domestic football, has reported record attendance figures for the 2023-24 season.

Liga Portugal and Liga Portugal 2 saw 4,263,585 spectators pass through stadium gates last season, a 10% increase on the previous campaign. This set a new benchmark, both for total attendance and individually for the two leagues, since the governing body began officially tracking figures back in 2012-13.

Dundee United’s Tannadice Park to become CalForth Construction Arena

Tannadice Park will take on a sponsor’s name for the first time after Dundee United agreed what it states is one of the most lucrative partnerships in its history through a deal with CalForth Construction.

Under the agreement, which will run through to the summer of 2026, United’s home will now be officially known as the CalForth Construction Arena at Tannadice Park.

United won the Scottish Championship title in 2023-24 meaning it is returning to Scottish football’s top flight next season. The club has called Tannadice home since its foundation in 1909, with CalForth currently part of renovation efforts at the stadium.

AEG Europe’s Edinburgh arena project set for green light

AEG Europe has said it is “determined to enhance” Edinburgh as a venue for live music and other events after its proposed 8,500-capacity arena in the heart of the Scottish capital was recommended for approval.

Planning officials have presented City of Edinburgh Council with a report stating that AEG Europe’s proposal is acceptable, adding there are “no other material considerations that outweigh this conclusion”.

According to the Edinburgh Evening News, a decision is expected to be made on the application at the Council’s next scheduled development management sub-committee meeting, which is due to take place on June 12.

Allianz Stadium opens up to rugby with Italy v All Blacks clash

Juventus has agreed a deal with the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) that will see the Serie A club’s Allianz Stadium host its first non-football event.

The Turin venue, Juventus’ home since 2011, will stage Italy’s Autumn Nations Series clash against New Zealand on November 23.

Francesco Calvo, Juventus’ managing director of revenue and football development, said: “We are proud to have reached this agreement with the Italian Rugby Federation, which will allow the doors of the Allianz Stadium to be opened to non-football events for the first time.