Stadium Industry Updates 23 May 2023

The latest news from the stadium industry!

Fortuna Sittard continues to innovate with Palmki

The offices of the Fortuna Sittard Stadium will be equipped with a high-quality piece of technology. Using Palmki's technology, the doors are equipped with scanning equipment that provides employees with palm identification. Since every person has a unique palm structure, a hand scan functions almost the same as a QR code. The technique is linked to a database in which the scans of the people who have access to a certain office have been uploaded. As a result of this development, keys are now superfluous and the offices are protected from uninvited guests.

 Commercial manager Jiry Funke: “A few months ago I came into contact with Ad Verweij from Palmki and the concept really appealed. As Fortuna Sittard, we want to continue to break new ground when it comes to innovation. The technology that Palmki entails fits in seamlessly with this. Director Ivo Pfennings was therefore quickly positive about the implementation. If everything goes as expected, we could use Palmki in other areas in the future. But for now we are very happy with this first step.”

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Record crowd at Wembley stadium for Women’s FA Cup final.

The Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium yesterday (Sunday) welcomed a record-breaking crowd of 77,390. The figure smashed last year’s final attendance record of 49,094 and tickets sold out well in advance of the game. Wembley also witnessed a new record for the largest crowd to watch a women’s domestic club fixture anywhere in the world.

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FFF announces stadiums that will host international fixtures while Stade de France is unavailable.

The French Football Federation (FFF) has announced the venues that will host national team matches during the 2023-24 season, with the Stade de France set to be off limits during the Rugby World Cup and in the lead-up to the Olympic Games. It was announced in February that the Stade de France would not be available for sporting and entertainment events for the entirety of 2024 heading into the Olympic and Paralympic Games. With the Stade de France also hosting matches during the Rugby World Cup from September 8 to October 28, the FFF has been forced to move matches away from the traditional home of French football next season. A total of 31 cities applied to host an international match, with 16 having been selected to stage either a men’s, women’s or U21 fixture.

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Court rules in favor of Mubadala Investment Company in Estadio Santiago Bernabeu sponsorship lawsuit

A court has reportedly ruled in favour of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company over a €400m lawsuit filed by Real Madrid in relation to sponsorship of the LaLiga club’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. The club had filed the suit in 2018 after claiming that Mubadala, formerly known as International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), failed to honour the terms of a sponsorship deal that would have granted it naming rights to a revamped Bernabéu.

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Barrow reveals stadium expansion plans

English League Two football club Barrow has revealed plans to increase the capacity at the SO Legal Stadium as part of a renovation project that will take place over the summer. The away end capacity will be increased to just under 1,000 fans through the installation of 522 new covered seats in the northeast corner of the stadium. Barrow will also fit 371 covered seats on the West Terrace for the use of home supporters. The additional seating will be installed in time for the 2023-24 season. Barrow has appointed GL Events and HBP Ltd as contractors for the project, with Gadsden Consulting and Tape Design Ltd to provide support.

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Municipality of Naples puts Stadio Diego Armando Maradona up for sale

The Municipality of Naples has reportedly placed the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona up for sale. The stadium is home to SSC Napoli, which was recently crowned Serie A champion. According to Italian newspaper Il Mattino, the city is seeking an investor that can oversee any future renovation of the stadium. In October 2019, Napoli signed a new five-year lease agreement to continue playing at the stadium, which was formerly known as Stadio San Paolo. The deal included the option of a further five-year extension, which could potentially keep the club at the stadium through to 2028. The city is set to begin discussions with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis over a new lease agreement. Il Mattino reports that De Laurentis could make an offer to buy the stadium.

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New AR Experience at Nokia Arena

Metaverse technology provider Immersal Oy has announced that its visual positioning technology is being used to create augmented reality experiences in and around Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland. The pilot application, which is currently available for Nokia and its VIP visitors at the arena, includes signs inside the venue, the arena being decorated with home teams’ logos, AR videos, and interactive AR experiences. AR applications have the required data bandwidth and response times at Nokia Arena thanks to 5G base stations fitted by naming-rights sponsor Nokia and fellow telco Elisa.

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Rangers detail stadium expansion plans with improved accessibility

Scottish Premiership football club Rangers has detailed plans to increase the capacity of Ibrox as part of a wider project that will provide improved facilities for disabled fans at the stadium. A phased series of works has been agreed by the club’s board, with the project aiming to provide Ibrox with the best disabled facilities of any stadium in Scotland and become one of the most accessible sports venues in Europe. The work will begin this summer, with further construction scheduled for the summers of 2024 and 2025. The summer periods have been chosen to ensure Rangers matches during the season are not disrupted by the work.

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Sodexo Live! New official venue partner of Preston North End

English Championship football club Preston North End has appointed the Sodexo Live! division of catering and facilities management provider Sodexo as its new official venue partner.The deal, which takes effect from July 1 ahead of the new football season, sees Sodexo Live! replace Heathcote&Co, which has been Preston’s catering partner since 2018.

Sodexo Live! will take over the catering operation at Deepdale stadium, including hospitality in the lounges and corporate boxes, and on the concourse on matchdays. As part of the agreement, Sodexo Live! will invest in the catering infrastructure at Deepdale with the aim of enhancing the matchday experience for the club’s supporters. Ahead of the beginning of the 2023-24 season, Preston will organise a meeting with supporters’ representatives to discuss Sodexo Live!’s matchday provisions.

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Four nations apply as contenders for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup after France pulls out.

The International Rugby League (IRL) has) announced that Qatar is one of four nations to have expressed initial interest in becoming the new host of its 2025 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC). IRL, the sport’s world governing body, is seeking a new destination for its showpiece tournament after France pulled out of hosting on Monday due to funding-related issues. France was awarded hosting rights back in January 2022, but the French Rugby League Federation (FFR XIII) said that, despite the work carried out by the organising committee, it would not be possible to provide a guarantee for the risk of loss for the event. It came after the conditions initially set out to secure the economic viability of the event were not met, with additional time and funding provided to the organising committee by the French Government.

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