Stadium Industry Updates - 14 March 2023

Barcelona ‘pauses’ Camp Nou fundraising

Spanish LaLiga football club FC Barcelona has reportedly paused plans to raise $1.5bn through a bond issue to pay for its wide-ranging Espai Barça project.

The Financial Times newspaper, citing three people with knowledge of Barcelona’s plans, said the fundraising has been put on hold after the club “baulked” at the terms of the deal, which has been impacted by increasing borrowing costs in the US.

Barcelona is now said to be considering alternative arrangements to fund the revamp of its Spotify Camp Nou stadium. The club last month unveiled plans to pay for the Espai Barça project through a €1.5bn bond issue that runs until the second half of the century.

Club president Joan Laporta confirmed that the bonds had been certified by Morningstar Sustainalytics and would be issued on the US market in the Green Bond category. They were given a stable BBB+ rating by the Kroll Bond Rating Agency.

The Financial Times has now reported that discussions with private investors have stalled after US borrowing costs rose to 2007 levels. The newspaper, citing another person briefed on the deal, added that Barcelona could decide on a “new method of financing”.

March 13, 2023

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Cagliari signs deals for stadium hotel, ‘Urban Destination SPA’

Italian Serie B football club Cagliari has further advanced plans for its new stadium by agreeing deals for hotel and wellness centre components with Accor and the Snow Group, respectively.

The partnerships with Accor and Snow Group are included among the revenue streams of the new stadium. “We are happy to announce the agreements with these two leading international companies in their sectors,” said Cagliari’s business and media director, Stefano Melis.

“For us it is a source of great pride, as well as a tangible demonstration of the great commitment that the club places in the project for the new stadium in Cagliari. In addition to the undoubted prestige, this guarantees us the skills and vision necessary to make the stadium a quality reference point, liveable every day for citizens and tourists.”

March 10, 2023

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Arsenal confirms plans to renovate Emirates Stadium Features

Premier League football club Arsenal has confirmed plans to renovate Emirates Stadium, with a major refurbishment of the venue’s roof to be central to the project.

Renovation work at the Emirates will also include new big screens, turnstile readers to speed up entry and new wraps outside the venue.

The 60,000-seat stadium opened in 2006 and Arsenal is now planning a “multi-million-pound” investment in the venue.

Arsenal confirmed the plans yesterday, with the news coinciding with the announcement that its season and match-day ticket prices will increase for the first time in seven years.

Tickets will be increasing by 4% for the 2022-23 season, marking the first time since 2014 that a stadium-wide increase has been introduced.

March 1, 2023

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Co-op Live and Bentley Motors have announced Manchester’s most exclusive luxe member’s club – The Bentley Record Room

An intimate lounge designed by the Bentley Motors Design Team at Co-op Live, the highly anticipated music and entertainment arena in Manchester.

The Bentley Record Room will be located next to the performers’ Green Room inside the new £365 million music and entertainment venue – set to be the largest live music arena in the UK. Luxe members will have access to the space before, during and after events at Co-op Live, with the best tickets to live shows, as well as access to an exciting range of special events in the Bentley Record Room.

The 100-capacity club will offer the ultimate in luxury and intimacy for music fans, boasting high-end dining options, a private host and waiter service, designated parking, and a VIP entrance to the venue. Its sumptuous interiors will be designed by the Bentley Design Team replicating the custom finishes and designs of its luxurious cars.

March 6, 2023

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Edgbaston Stadium is preparing to unveil a Skyline roof-top terrace hospitality offering that will transform its match day experience for guests.

Skyline – situated at the height of the South Stand – will offer spectacular panoramic views of the pitch and Birmingham landscape, whilst delivering an unrivalled hospitality package.

The major refurbishment includes high-end hospitality and banqueting, private inclusive bar, reception areas, live music and DJ, plus superior seating in a partially-covered, contemporary roof-top setting.

Edgbaston is working on Skyline in partnership with Stadia by GL Events, Arcadis and Woo Architects, who devised concepts for areas at Wembley, Twickenham and the London Stadium.

March 8, 2023

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Real Betis Balompié has announced an international design competition for a new Benito Villamarín Stadium.

The aim of the international competition is the design of the new Preferencia Stand (West Stand), and also actions on the outside and inside elements of the rest of the stands – Gol Norte, Fondo and Gol Sur (North, East and South Stand, respectively) – as well as a roof to cover all four stands. All of these elements must be adapted to the new aesthetic trends of the brand “Real Betis Balompié”, transforming the fan experience, the business model, and the spectator attendance of the current Stadium.
The idea must be innovative and integrate the business model developed by Real Betis Balompié to complete a Stadium that is alive 365 days a year, with special importance of a wide range of leisure and entertainment experiences, both on match days and non-match days, with a prominent role for new technologies, sustainability and inclusion. Similarly, the idea must include the urban and commercial development planning.

The budget for the project is €70 million, with construction set to begin in June 2024.

March 10, 2023

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The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has partnered with Tixserve to streamline ticket delivery and engage ticket holders at all FAW international games held at Cardiff City Stadium.

Having witnessed the app’s capabilities and efficiency, FAW made the decision to implement the Tixserve-powered solution. The new Tixserve-powered ‘Cymru Tickets‘ app is currently being rolled out to FAW membership renewals to replace physical membership cards and will be increasingly used by all spectators at forthcoming Wales international football matches.

Matchday ticketing, hospitality ticketing, membership and VIP tickets will now be digitally-powered for fans to enjoy streamlined entry into the Cardiff City Stadium and a unique matchday experience.

March 13, 2023

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UEFA’s Champions League final refund scheme ‘insufficient’, says Real Madrid

Spanish LaLiga football club Real Madrid has rejected a refund scheme proposed by UEFA for fans affected by events in the lead-up to last year’s Champions League final against Liverpool at the Stade de France in Paris.

On Tuesday, UEFA announced that it would be implementing a special refund scheme for supporters, with the scheme covering all of Liverpool’s 19,618 ticket allocation.

Kick-off for the final, which Real Madrid won 1-0, was delayed by more than half an hour as thousands of fans remained outside of the stadium. Some fans queued outside for more than two hours, while videos circulated on social media showed police using pepper spray and tear gas as supporters tried to scan their tickets at the turnstiles.

March 9, 2023

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Hillsborough’s away capacity reduced following overcrowding complaints

The away end at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium is set to have its capacity cut after overcrowding concerns were raised following an FA Cup match against Newcastle United in January.

The council said: “Regarding capacity reduction, we can advise that: The Upper West Stand now has a further reduced capacity of 2,400 (down from 3,200 as a result of the recent review) for a stand with a holding capacity of 4,194.

“The Lower West Stand now has a further reduced capacity of 1,300 (down from 1,500 as a result of the recent review) for a stand with a holding capacity of 2,366.”

Matchday records showed that there were no reported injuries relating to overcrowding. Newcastle fans shared that the overcrowding led to distress, particularly among children in the upper concourse and lower-tier tunnel, while tickets were said to have been sold in areas that were netted off.

March 14, 2023

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