Stadium Industry Updates – 28 February 2023

The latest news from the stadium industry!

AFC Bournemouth looking to retain temporary south stand

Premier League football club AFC Bournemouth has submitted an application to retain Vitality Stadium’s South Stand, a temporary structure that has been in place for almost 10 years. Local newspaper the Daily Echo reports that Bournemouth is hoping to keep the stand in place for a further five years. A five-year deal was agreed for the temporary stand in 2013 before the current agreement was reached in 2018. This agreement is due to expire in two months. The new deal would ensure the South Stand can remain in place until 2028. An application has been submitted to BCP Council, with the Echo reporting that a letter has been sent to the local authority from Savills on behalf of the club.

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OL Groupe and HPE sign new partnership

OL Groupe, which operates French Ligue 1 football club Olympique Lyonnais and Groupama Stadium, has signed a new partnership with technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise to support its energy efficiency plan and improve the fan experience at its venues. OL Groupe has selected the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform to modernise its entire on-premises infrastructure. The agreement will allow OL Groupe to increase its ability to deploy IT sources, reduce its environmental footprint and accelerate the development of its new entertainment offerings.

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Brentford FC introduces “Every seat counts” ticketing programme

Premier League football club Brentford has frozen its ticket prices for the 2023-24 season and has also introduced a new ‘every seat counts’ policy, in a bid to fill its Gtech Community Stadium (pictured) for all league home games. The club has said that there will be a new 10-month in-house direct debit scheme to allow fans to spread the cost. Brentford said that it will remain one of the cheapest places to watch Premier League football, with a standard ‘band B’ adult season ticket equating to roughly £24 (€27/$29) per match.

Brentford has also said that it will be tackling the issue of unused, empty seats at the 17,250-capacity Gtech Community Stadium, and limiting the access of away fans in home sections. Brentford revealed that on average, there are roughly 1,000 unused season ticket-holder seats every game.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers granted safe standing license

 Premier League football club Wolverhampton Wanderers has been granted a licence for safe standing at Molineux, with the areas to be in operation for its home match against Tottenham Hotspur on March 4. Wolves became the first Premier League club to install barrier seating into an existing stadium back in 2019, after the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) confirmed that it could be licensed as compliant with the government’s all-seater policy.

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FC Barcelona to stop drone incursions through Kuppel partnership

FC Barcelona has stepped up its defence against potential drone incursions at Spotify Camp Nou by teaming up with the Kuppel project, a venture operated by the Government of Catalonia through the Mossos d’Esquadra police force. The Kuppel project was established in 2020 as a means to protect Catalonia’s airspace from drones and is currently utilised at the likes of Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport, as well as the Tarragona petrochemical complex.

Based on the agreement announced Tuesday, in the coming weeks, portable antennas equipped with cameras and sensors will be installed at different points of the LaLiga football club’s stadium. This will enhance the current aerial security and protection system that is in place to combat irregular activity of drones both in the stadium and in major infrastructure and facilities in the area within a radius of more than two kilometres.

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DMK presents its vision for De Kuip redevelopment

De Moderne Kuip (DMK), an organisation that has campaigned for the redevelopment of the home of Dutch Eredivisie football club Feyenoord, has spelled out its fresh vision for such a venture. DMK’s efforts date back as far as 2020, during which time it put forth its masterplan for De Kuip in parallel with the now abandoned Feyenoord City scheme. Feyenoord officially dropped plans to develop a new stadium in April 2022, with the club also ruling out redeveloping De Kuip amid the economic climate at that time.

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Scunthorpe fans can become stadium owners

English National League football club Scunthorpe United has launched a new Lifetime 1899 Membership scheme, which will give fans the chance to hold a share in its Glanford Park stadium. The membership is a one-off lifetime package limited to 1899 members and will be available to purchase directly from the club. Each member will be allocated one share in the company which owns the stadium.

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UK government confirms plans for independent football regulator

The UK Government has confirmed plans to introduce a new independent regulator for men’s professional football, with the sale or relocation of clubs’ stadiums among the matters that will require approval. The regulator will oversee the financial sustainability of English football from the top-tier Premier League to the fifth-tier National League. Clubs will be required to demonstrate “sound financial business models” and good corporate governance as part of an application process before being allowed to compete.

It is hoped the regulator will provide fans with a greater say in the strategic running of their clubs and protect the heritage of clubs by stopping owners changing names, badges and home shirt colours without supporter consultation.

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London stadium investigates installation of solar panels

London Stadium is conducting a feasibility study concerning the potential installation of solar panels that would cover the roof of the venue. The Evening Standard newspaper said the scheme is being led by the stadium’s owners, London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The LLDC’s latest budget document is said to project that the venture could cost around £4m (€4.54m/$4.81m) over two years, investment that would be recouped after just five years through an estimated generation of roughly three million kilowatts of power each year.

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AC Milan could abandon stadium project in cooperation with Inter

AC Milan has elected to split from city rival Inter Milan and pursue its own stadium project, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The newspaper has today (Friday) reported that Milan, under its new US ownership group RedBird Capital Partners, is set to make a decisive move when it comes to the troubled Nuovo Stadio Milano project it has pursued with its fellow Serie A football club.

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