Stadium Industry Updates - 4 June 2024

A new breakthrough for Valencia CF's Nou Mestalla, Mobile connectivity for EURO 2024 fans, A new attendance record for the SPFL and much more in our latest stadium industry updates.

Sixways Stadium to become educational hub 

Sixways Stadium, the home of former Premiership rugby union team Worcester Warriors, has agreed a multi-year deal for Access Educational Provision (AEP) to become a tenant of the venue. 

AEP, which provides bespoke, tailored educational solutions to young people in Worcestershire, will move into the stadium from June, operating on site from Mondays to Fridays. 

The company’s deal with Sixways Stadium is designed to support its aim of expanding into the independent specialist school sector. AEP will work closely with the stadium team to develop links within the community that provide greater engagement opportunities for young people. 

No referendum for AC Milan stadium project 

A proposed new stadium project for Italian Serie A football club AC Milan will not face a public referendum, the Municipality of San Donato Milanese has announced. 

A group entitled the Comitato No Stadio (No Stadium Committee) had requested a referendum on the project. The group’s proposed question was: “Do you, the citizens of San Donato Milanese, want an intervention of a sporting and commercial nature to be carried out in the municipal territory of San Donato Milanese which includes the development of a new football stadium?” 

The Municipality has ruled that a referendum would be inadmissible, and instead it intends on organising a range of discussions involving citizens and relevant associations and companies that represent the “entire” San Donato community. 

France to host IIHF World Championship in 2028 

France has been awarded hosting rights for the 2028 Ice Hockey World Championship, with games to be played at Accor Arena in Paris and LDLC Arena in Lyon. 

France co-hosted the event in 2017, as Paris staged games alongside Cologne in Germany. France also co-hosted the first standalone edition of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) event in 1930, when games were played in Chamonix. 

The 2028 edition, which will take place from May 12-28, will mark the first time Lyon has hosted games. The city’s LDLC Arena, which is the largest indoor arena in France outside of Paris, opened last year and serves as the home of basketball team LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne. 

Valencia CF secures Nou Mestalla boost with land sale 

Valencia CF has claimed a breakthrough for its Nou Mestalla project with the sale of land on the stadium site, while the Spanish LaLiga football club has engaged Legends to assist in enhancing the fan experience offering at the future venue. 

Construction work on the Nou Mestalla was suspended in February 2009 and the venue has since become one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects. However, Valencia said it has reached an agreement with Atitlan Desarrollos Inmobiliarios, a subsidiary of investment firm Grupo Atitlan, for the sale of land attached to the Nou Mestalla. The deal is reportedly worth in the range of €30m to €40m, according to Spanish media reports, with the funds set to be diverted to the stadium project. 

EURO 2024’s connectivity  

Deutsche Telekom has expanded its mobile network across all 10 stadiums that will be used during this summer’s UEFA Euro 2024 football tournament in Germany. 

The company has fitted around 750 new 5G antennas, 300 of which will be located in the stands. The remaining 450 will be placed in indoor areas of the stadiums. 

Deutsche Telekom has also fitted 38 temporary coverage areas for fan zones, train stations and team headquarters, and will install around 65 new kilometres of fiber optics for the fixed network connection of the stadiums. 

Major cost hike for Berlin’s Jahn-Sportpark project 

The cost of a major renovation project at Berlin’s Jahn-Sportpark has risen to more than €300m. The complex primarily serves as an athletics venue but is set to be converted into a multi-sport destination. O+M Architekten has designed the new-look stadium that will sit at the heart of the complex. 

The project had originally been due to cost €182m, but German newspaper Tagesspiegel reported earlier this week that the budget has increased to more than €300m. The Berlin Senate has since confirmed this to the city’s House of Representatives. 

Everton seeks to ease new stadium travel 

Everton has entered into a partnership with Sefton Council that is designed to further enhance the transport offer from the borough ahead of the Premier League football club’s new stadium opening at Bramley-Moore Dock. 

The collaboration will focus on public transportation links, active travel opportunities, parking, leisure opportunities utilising the new stadium and around Bootle town centre, as well as respective events programmes that might attract fans before and after matches at the 52,888-capacity waterfront stadium, which is set to open in the summer of 2025. 

SPFL sets new attendance record 

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) has hailed the setting of a new yearly attendance record for the second season running, stating it has the highest figure across Europe in terms of the percentage of the population attending games. 

A total of 5,151,522 supporters turned out to watch their teams across all SPFL competitions in 2023-24 – the highest figure in the SPFL era – with 25 member clubs reporting season-on-season attendance rises for league matches. 

Sparta Praha agrees deal for new stadium 

The Football Association of the Czech Republic (FAČR) has approved the proposal of reigning First League champion Sparta Praha to develop a new home on the site of Stadion Evžena Rošického. 

The FAČR General Assembly, on the recommendation of its Executive Committee,  confirmed Sparta as the winner of an international competition for the use of the Evžena Rošického complex, located in Strahov, Prague. 

More than 50 arrests made at Champions League final 

More than 50 arrests were made during the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley, with the English Football Association (FA) insisting that security operations put in place for the match were a success as ticketless fans were not able to enter the stadium. 

More than 2,500 stewards were deployed, and further provisions were put in place as part of a €5.9m operations overhaul at Wembley. Despite the enhanced stewarding presence, a small number of fans invaded the pitch shortly after kick-off, prompting the match to be delayed by a few minutes. 

A Wembley statement later confirmed that all of the individuals who invaded the pitch had been arrested, with the stadium supporting the relevant authorities to ensure “appropriate action is taken”.