Stadium Industry Updates 21 February 2023

The latest news from the European Stadium Industry!

FC Barcelona looking to finance Espai Barca project through 30-year bonds

FC Barcelona has unveiled plans to pay for its vast Espai Barça project through a €1.5bn bond issue that runs until the second half of the century. Following the granting of the Spotify Camp Nou redevelopment project to Limak, club president Joan Laporta last week confirmed that the bonds have been certified by Morningstar Sustainalytics and will be issued on the US market in the Green Bond category. They have been given a stable BBB+ rating by the Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA). Laporta said the funding required for the Limak to commence work on the project will be in place by March 31.

Read more at: https://www.eleconomista.es/infraestructuras-servicios/noticias/12143548/02/23/El-Barcelona-pagara-el-nuevo-Camp-Nou-con-tres-emisiones-de-bonos-de-500-millones-al-10-de-interes-.html

UEFA found to be “primary responsible” for incidents during 2022 CL final in Paris

Theodore Theodoridis, general secretary at UEFA, has issued an apology to Liverpool supporters after an independent review into the events at last year’s Champions League final at the Stade de France found that the governing body bears primary responsibility for failures which “almost led to disaster”.

The report, which has been produced by an independent review panel led by Dr. Brandão Rodrigues, was published by UEFA yesterday (Monday). The review was commissioned by UEFA in the days following the match on May 28 last year.

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.

Read more at: https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/14/football/uefa-responsible-champions-league-final-2022-chaos-spt-intl/index.html#:~:text=An%20independent%20review%20panel%20commissioned,report%20released%20on%20Monday%20said.

CD Eldense presents plans for new stadium

CD Eldense has presented eye-catching plans for a new stadium as part of its long-term ambition to secure a place in LaLiga, the top division of Spanish club football.

The stadium plans have been put forward by Eldense president Pascual Pérez, who also owns telecommunications company Finetwork, and call for the development of a new venue on the site of the club’s former home, the 8,000-capacity Estadio Pepico Amat.

A multi-functional stadium with a capacity of around 18,000 has been presented where, in addition to Eldense matches, other types of cultural events could be staged. The project includes the construction of an underground car park for 3,000 vehicles, as well as a hotel and commercial area.

Read more at: https://www.coliseum-online.com/spain-club-cd-eldense-plans-new-home-ground/

Stade de France off limits in 2024 ahead of Paris Olympics

The Stade de France is set to be off limits for sporting and entertainment events for the entirety of 2024 heading into the Olympic and Paralympic Games, leaving the likes of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) and French Football Federation (FFF) needing to secure alternative venues. The news, first reported by RMC Sport before being backed up by multiple French news outlets, comes with the national stadium needing to undergo renovation work ahead of its role as the de-facto Olympic Stadium for the Games, hosting athletics and rugby sevens competitions during the Olympics and Para athletics for the Paralympics. The FFR is set to be most impacted by the news as it will require alternative venues for the entirety of France’s 2024 Six Nations campaign. Indeed, the Stade de France has never been without Six Nations rugby since opening in January 1998.

Read more at: https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1133703/stade-de-france-unavailable-2024

Saudi Arabia awarded FIFA Club World Cup

 Saudi Arabia has further strengthened its position in the major events hosting market by being awarded the right to stage the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup.

World football’s governing body made the announcement yesterday (Tuesday) at its FIFA Council meeting, with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) to host from December 12-22.

Saudi Arabia will become the sixth country to host the Club World Cup since its inception in 2000, with yesterday’s announcement coming after the conclusion of the 2022 tournament in Morocco at the weekend.

Read more at: https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/articles/saudi-arabia-to-host-club-world-cup-december-2023#:~:text=Share-,Saudi%20Arabia%20will%20host%20the%20seven%2Dside%20FIFA%20Club%20World,Arab%20Emirates%2C%20Morocco%20and%20Qatar.

Athletic Club de Bilbao supports Non-league day

Spanish LaLiga football team Athletic Club has announced that it is backing Non-League Day, a UK-based campaign that promotes attendance at semi-professional and grassroots matches.Bilbao-based Athletic becomes the first LaLiga club to support Non-League Day, which will take place in the UK on March 25.

The club will work with the Biscay Federation, the Basque Football Federation and its partner clubs to promote attendance at local stadiums on September 9-10. The Biscay province features 141 football teams across non-league divisions. Athletic will promote attendance at these teams, as well as a further 19 clubs from the wider Basque region. The event will be framed within the context of Athletic’s own 125th anniversary celebrations.

Read more at: https://www.football-espana.net/2023/02/16/athletic-club-mark-125th-anniversary-with-non-league-day-collaboration

FGR starts construction work on all new, wooden stadium

Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince has announced that work on the League One club’s all-wooden stadium has commenced.

The Eco Park development will be built next to Junction 13 of the M5 motorway in Gloucestershire. Green energy company Ecotricity revealed revised plans for the 5,000-seat stadium in January 2022 after the project was approved in December 2019.

In a tweet, Vince revealed that work on the stadium is underway with the sinking of a series of boreholes. Vince said the move will allow the club to “get an understanding of the ground conditions” so that the foundations of the stadium can be designed.

Read more at: https://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/23325603.work-begins-new-forest-green-rovers-stadium/

Charlton Athletic owner backs out of stadium deal

Thomas Sandgaard, owner of Charlton Athletic, has backed out of a £17m (€19.1m/$20.3m) deal to acquire the English League One football club’s stadium, according to Football Insider.

The website, citing sources, said the Danish businessman reneged on a three-year deal to buy The Valley from Charlton’s former owner, Roland Duchâtelet, in mid to late January, shortly before it was widely reported that a proposed club takeover was in the works.

Sandgaard acquired Charlton in September 2020, but Belgian businessman Duchâtelet has retained control of The Valley since his ownership of the Southeast London club commenced in January 2014. Sandgaard is said to see potential in redevelopment of the 27,000-seat stadium, but his long-term commitment to Charlton is in doubt.

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2023/02/17/charlton-owner-exits-deal-to-acquire-the-valley/

Genr8 Appointed to develop Craven Park Campus for Hull KR

English Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers has appointed Genr8 Kajima Regeneration to develop its Sewell Group Craven Park Campus masterplan. The appointment of Manchester-based developers Genr8 comes after the rugby league club confirmed the purchase of its Craven Park stadium and up to 15 acres of surrounding land from Hull City Council back in March 2022.

This marked the first time Rovers has owned Craven Park since the late 1990s, when the stadium was sold to Kingston Community Developments Ltd (KCDL) to secure the club’s short-term future.

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2023/02/17/hull-kr-lands-development-partner-for-craven-park-campus-scheme/

Barcelona retains Nikken Sekkei as ‘design guardian’ for Camp Nou project

With the construction work for Spotify Camp Nou now decided, FC Barcelona continue working on the development of the Espai Barça and have come to an agreement for Nikken Sekkei to continue their involvement in the project as 'Design Guardian' for the new stadium. As such, the Japanese architectural studio will guarantee the continuity of the initial concept and work towards ways of including new proposals seamlessly into the project.

Nikken Sekkei, in conjunction with Pascual y Ausió Arquitectes, were the winners of the competition to design the new Spotify Camp Nou in 2016 The Japanese architectural studio has been responsible for well known large-scale sporting facilities such as the Niigata and Kashima stadiums used in the 2002 World Cup and the Saitama Super Arena. The studio has guaranteed at all times that the original concept will be maintained when it comes to working towards bringing solutions into the design.

Read more at: https://www.fcbarcelona.com/en/club/news/3063110/espai-barca-will-have-nikken-sekkei-as-design-guardian-for-the-future-spotify-camp-nou