Stadium Industry Updates 27 June

Latest updates from the stadium industry!

Budapest opens new Athletics Stadium

The Hungarian capital of Budapest has officially opened its new National Athletics Centre as it prepares to host the World Athletics Championships later this summer. Around 15,000 people attended the open day on Saturday, with more than 5,000 people registering to take part in running races that culminated on the track at the new purpose-built stadium. The races incorporated the nearby sports and leisure park, while behind-the-scenes guided tours were provided for 2,000 people. Locals were also able to sample family-friendly athletics equipment in the park. The World Championships will take place from August 19-27. The stadium will have an initial capacity of 40,000 for the event before being reduced to 15,000.

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New FC Lugano Stadium breaks ground on July 3rd

Work on a project to deliver a new 10,000-seat football stadium and a 4,000-capacity arena in the Swiss city of Lugano is set to begin on July 3. The stadium will serve as the home of Swiss Super League football club FC Lugano and is scheduled to open in 2025, while the arena will be finished by 2026. Preliminary works are currently taking place, with the first stage of construction to commence next month.

The new stadium will replace FC Lugano’s Stadio di Cornaredo. The east stand of the Cornaredo will be demolished next month and a temporary facility with a capacity of 4,872 seats will come into operation.

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QPR opens new training center

English Championship football club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) has officially unveiled its new state-of-the-art training ground. The facility has been designed by Studio Zoppini Architects and delivered by a project team including: global design engineering consultants Buro Happold, planning advisors HGH Consulting, and contract administrators Arcadis. Construction was completed by Michael Brady Ltd (MBL) and all pitch works and landscaping by White Horse contractors. The 27-acre site sits within the green belt, adjacent to the M4 motorway and residential areas, along with Cranford College. Studio Zoppini said it was imperative that the design was sensitive to its location whilst providing an “aspirational environment” for all the representatives of the club and a positive asset to the local community.

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Odra Opole stadium set to become leader in sustainability in Poland

Odra Opole’s new stadium, which is currently in development, is set to become a sustainability leader in Poland after its design was adjusted so that it becomes largely independent of conventional energy sources. The second tier Liga I football club is due to move into its new home during the second half of 2024, with a contract signed between Zakładem Komunalnym and construction engineering company Mirbud in December 2021 to deliver Stadion Opolski. The City of Opole has now announced that the global increase in energy prices has forced the investor behind the construction of the stadium to order changes in its documentation, with a view to providing a long-term reduction in its operating costs. The ‘green stadium’ project has been prepared and implemented by the main contractor, Mirbud, together with SMG Śląsk, a leader in the development of ecological installation systems. Photovoltaic panels with a capacity of about 280 kW will be installed on the roof of the west, east and south stands. The entire system will be complemented by heat pumps and aggregates with cogeneration function.

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Stade Brestois remains commited to new stadium plans despite delays and inflation

Projet Espace Froutven, the venture to deliver a new stadium for Stade Brestois 29, has seen its timeline slip by a year amid rising costs, with both the French Ligue 1 football club and Brest Métropole officially discounting the possibility of instead redeveloping the team’s current home. A little over a year ago, Stade Brestois 29 and Brest Métropole unveiled eye-catching plans for a new 15,000-seat stadium for the club.  However, efforts have stalled since then leading to Le Saint last week threatening to withdraw his family’s backing of local sport, which extends to brother Gerard’s presidency of Brest Bretagne Handball, “if this project is not done”. This has led to a meeting between the Le Saint brothers and Métropole officials, following which the local authority has declared that the stadium project now appears to be on track. Brest Métropole had set out that work could start in 2024, with delivery scheduled for 2026. Under the revised plans, work is now expected to commence in 2025, with a view to Stade Brestois being able to move into the new stadium in 2027.

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Johan Cruijff Arena presents Global Sustainable Venue Benchmark

Johan Cruijff ArenA, the home of Dutch Eredivisie football club AFC Ajax, has announced the launch of a new international sustainability standard for events and event locations.

The Amsterdam stadium is teaming up with Rotterdam-based GSES (Global Sustainable Enterprise System), which offers a software as a service (SaaS) platform, in the venture. The Global Sustainable Venue Benchmark (GSVB) intends to be a measurement and verification process that tracks the sustainability of organisations, events and suppliers. Johan Cruijff ArenA said the “groundbreaking and transparent” system “guarantees honesty and integrity”, so that every participating organisation can back up its sustainability promises. For the stadium, officials intend to use the GSVB system to realise last month’s stated pledge to achieve net positive operations in 2030.

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Rangers considering three options for stadium expansion

Rangers CEO, James Bisgrove, has revealed the Scottish Premiership football club is assessing three “medium to long term” options to expand Ibrox stadium. Speaking at a fans forum event, Bisgrove disclosed how the club is seeking to address the challenges of having a 10,000-strong season ticket waiting list, with a 99% renewal rate.  The cheapest option would be to add 1,300 seats to each corner of Ibrox at which a big screen is located, at a cost of between £3m to £4m per area. Alternatively, Bisgrove said the big screens could be removed entirely, filling in the corners of the stadium adjacent to the Sandy Jardine Stand. This is expected to add around 3,000 to 4,000 seats at a cost of between £20m and £25m.

Finally, the potential of lowering the pitch, adding 4,500 seats, was outlined. This would cost between £15m to £20m, but would be logistically challenging. The work would need more than a close season to carry out, meaning that Rangers would potentially need to explore playing at another stadium while the project is conducted.

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LaLiga reports top attendance figures

LaLiga, the operator of the top two divisions of Spanish football, has revealed that its cumulative attendance increased to a record 15,766,311 during the 2022-23 season. This represents an increase of 6.4% compared to the 2018-19 season, which was the last campaign unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The figure was also a 31.3% increase on the 2021-22 season, when stadiums did not open at full capacity until October.

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