Stadium Industry Updates 31 January 2023

Vitesse Arnhem files lawsuit against GelreDome owner

Vitesse Arnhem has filed a lawsuit against the owner of its home stadium, the GelreDome.Vitesse cancelled its sublease agreement to play at the stadium back in September 2018, citing unreasonable rental conditions. As a result, the agreement will officially expire on October 1.

Vitesse said the current agreement costs the club €2.15m per year and offers “very limited operating options”. Vitesse is required to inform the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) of where it will be playing next season by March 1. According to Vitesse, if the club had not cancelled the agreement it would have been extended for at least 20 years under conditions that are “not in line with the market”.

Read more at: https://news.trenddetail.com/euro/335522.html

Manchester United to replace executive seating after fan consultation

Premier League football club Manchester United has announced today (Monday) that it will replace the executive seating area in Old Trafford’s Stretford End with admission season tickets following consultation with fans.

United has worked with its fans’ advisory board to review the presence of 850 executive seats in the famous Stretford End in support of efforts to enhance the atmosphere at Old Trafford. It has been agreed that all the seating in the stand will be returned to general admission for the start of the 2024-25 season, with the process to begin following the conclusion of the current campaign.

The move comes after United installed rail seating in the Stretford End and introduced a dedicated atmosphere section in the stand.

Read More at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11666037/Man-United-REMOVE-850-executive-seats-Stretford-End.html

Mid-season attendance record for Ligue 1

France’s Ligue de Football Professionel (LFP) has revealed that Ligue 1’s mid-season attendance figure for the 2022-23 campaign has risen to record levels. More than 4.5 million fans attended Ligue 1 matches during the first 19 weeks of the season, a 12% increase on the 2021-22 campaign. The figure also represents a 5% increase on the same stage at the 2019-20 season, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced games behind closed doors.

The average attendance per match so far this season in Ligue 1 is 23,773, another record. Stadiums in Ligue 1 were 81% full during the first half of the season, an 11% increase on 2021-22 and a 7% increase on 2019-20.

Read more at https://www.lfp.fr/Articles/Communiqu%C3%A9s/2023/01/23/a-mi-saison-un-record-d-affluence-historique-pour-la-ligue-1-uber-eats

Mastercard research shows top 10 things fans want on matchdays

Live music at breaks/half-time, better facilities for disabled fans and earpieces to hear live manager/player communication are the top three enhancements sought for the ‘matchday of the future’ by European sports fans, according to study from Mastercard.

When asked how things could improve for the ‘matchday of the future’, Europe’s top 10 answers were:

  • Live music at breaks/half-time
  • Better facilities for disabled fans
  • Earpieces to hear live manager/player communication
  • VR experiences to show the ‘player’s view’
  • In-game supporter engagement (man of the match voting or kiss-cam)
  • Retail outlets for matchday shopping
  • Bottomless brunch before the match
  • TV screens on back of seats to watch other entertainment
  • Spa facilities with a pitch view
  • Themed fancy dress match days for fans in the crowd

Read more at: https://www.mastercard.com/news/europe/en/newsroom/press-releases/en/2023/european-passion-for-sport-burns-bright-as-gyms-stadiums-and-technology-thrive/

Everton owner promises new investment in stadium project

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has again reiterated the embattled Premier League football club is not for sale and has instead said he is close to securing fresh investment for its new stadium project.

The Liverpool Echo reported that Moshiri had told the publication the club is not for sale, with the process to secure further funding for the completion of the new stadium remaining ongoing.

Read more at https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/farhad-moshiri-confirms-everton-sale-26064232

LFP presents new sustainable mobility campaign

France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has launched a new campaign to promote sustainable mobility among fans on match days.

The campaign began on 26 January and runs until the end of the season, with all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs backing the initiative. It is hoped that fans will consider public transport, carpooling and “active” mobility when travelling to stadiums to watch their team. The campaign features the slogan ‘On partage plus que du foot (We share more than football)’. Clubs will tweak the messaging depending on the modes of transport available to their fans.

Read more at: https://www.lfp.fr/Articles/Jouons-la-collectif/2023/01/25/on-partage-plus-que-du-foot

UEFA Super Cup to be moved from Kazan to Athens

UEFA, football’s European governing body, has announced that the Russian city of Kazan will no longer host this year’s Super Cup, with the match to take place in the Greek capital of Athens instead. The match will be held at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, home of Olympiacos, on August 16.

The decision to remove the match from Kazan comes amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russian clubs and national teams are currently banned from UEFA competitions, and last year’s Champions League final was relocated from Saint Petersburg to Paris following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Read more at https://www.uefa.com/uefasupercup/news/027d-1727c00c9ab2-62be804330cf-1000--2023-super-cup-relocated-to-athens/

Liverpool FC ranked as “most sustainable club” in EPL

Liverpool has been named the top Premier League club in the inaugural edition of The Sustainability Index, an in-depth ranking of football clubs’ financial sustainability, good governance, equality standards and fan engagement.

The index has been developed by football reform group Fair Game, which partnered with independent experts and organisations in football to create “fair and impartial metrics” across the four criteria.Liverpool scored highly in the Football Leadership Diversity Code, which makes up 50% of the governance score.

Read more at https://www.planetsport.com/soccer/news/fair-games-sustainability-index-ranks-liverpool-premier-leagues-best-run-club

FC Barcelona issues “Biodiversity Guide”

Spanish LaLiga football club FC Barcelona has claimed a first with the publication of a biodiversity guide detailing the array of wildlife that lives throughout its facilities.

The ‘Guía de la Biodiversidad del FC en Les Corts’ details that 34 different species live within the facilities in the Les Corts district of Barcelona, including Spotify Camp Nou.

“We haven’t been able to find any other guide of this type, at least we don’t know of any other big club that has published a biodiversity manual like this one,” Jordi Portabella, director of FC Barcelona’s sustainability department, told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

Read more at: https://www.lavanguardia.com/natural/20230127/8710781/barca-futbol-club-barcelona-edita-guia-especies-animales-viven-spotify-camp-nou.html

Mayor to approve Real Zaragoza’s stadium development plans

The Mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, has confirmed that the City Council is willing to accept Real Zaragoza’s demands for a long-term concession deal as a basis to develop a new stadium on the site of the existing Estadio La Romareda. The Segunda Division football club is targeting a concession deal for operating rights of up to 75 years, with a study conducted by the University of Zaragoza backing up its argument that in order for investment in a new stadium to be recovered, a contract of up to 75 years would be necessary, instead of the initially chosen 50-year deal.

The proposal will now be voted on at a meeting on February 1, with Azcón highlighting the importance of the “independent” report from the University, which “proves” that the economic exploitation of the new Romareda “is greater than originally thought and could last up to 75 years”.

Read more at https://www.heraldo.es/noticias/aragon/zaragoza/2023/01/26/azcon-alegacion-real-zaragoza-operacion-romareda-1627070.html