Stadium Industry Updates 6 February 2024

FC Barcelona fights against unauthorised ticket sale, Fiorentina stays at Franchi, Paris 2024 opening ceremony attendees cut in half and much more in our latest Stadium Industry Updates!

FC Barcelona fights unauthorised ticket resale 

FC Barcelona signed an agreement with FEAT (Face-Value-European Alliance for Ticketing), thus joining the organisation in its mission for a Europe-wide ban on event ticket resale above face value.  

At the moment, FC Barcelona has already different measures in place to combat unauthorised ticket resale. This includes personalised tickets and a tracking system. These measures are part of the club’s ‘Visiting Security and Control Protocol’.  

With this alliance, the club joined with live events professionals across Europe to make 3 key promises as part of their pledge: 

  • To fight for face-value ticket resale 

  • To only support resale marketplaces that are legally compliant and embrace transparency 

  • To stand up to search engines and social media platforms accepting advertising from irregular resale platforms 

After the signing, Juli Guiu, Vice-president of the clubs’ marketing area, stated: “tackling unauthorised ticket resale has been a priority of the club for some time so this partnership makes perfect sense. This alliance is also aligned with the different actions that FC Barcelona has been undertaking to protect its members and season ticket holders against any situation and for purchasers of tickets for all sectors to feel safe in the knowledge that the tickets they buy are legitimate and fairly priced”. 

FC Barcelona is the first non-music member of FEAT. The city itself will now become FEAT’s official home city and will host its Annual General Meeting there every year.  

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Fiorentina stays at Franchi during redevelopment

The mayor of Florence Dario Nardella has confirmed that Fiorentina, Serie A football club, will continue to play at their home stadium, Stadio Artemio Franchi, next season during the redevelopment work, but at a reduced operating capacity.  

At the moment, the stadium has a capacity of 43,000. Within the redevelopment, the stadium will feature a new roof and grandstands that are located closer to the pitch. The new stadium will have at least a capacity of 40,000.  

Nardella said in the past that the club needed a temporarily home for the next to season, but after a discussion with the engineering and design team, it would be possible to play at the stadium during redevelopment in the 2024-25 season with a maximum capacity of 22,000 seats. Nardella admitted that this is “well beyond “ the current number of Fiorentina season ticket holders. He added that there are plans the club will play at a temporary 18,000 capacity stadium during the 2025-26 season.  

The construction of Fiorentina’s new home will start from June 1, costs 150m and will be finished by the summer of 2026.  

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Real Madrid and HP signed collaboration

Real Madrid and the US technology company HP signed a sponsorship agreement. HP will be the first brand to have its logo appear on the Real Madrid shirt in the club’s 121-year history. The new jersey was first played last weekend during the match against Atlético de Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.  

The collaboration aims to accelerate the digital transformation of club spaces and elevate the Real Madrid fan experience as part of the new Santiago Bernabeu complex, including in-person experiences, gaming and club operations. 

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Hibernia FC will introduce safe standing

Hibernia FC, Scottish Premiership football club, confirms safe standing to be introduced at the start of the 2024-25 season. Since the start of the 2023-24 season, the club has been in discussion with the supporters trough Social Asking, Survey Monkey and in-person and online consultation sessions. Alongside, Hibernia FC held a wider consultation meeting with the season ticket holders in the Famous Five Stand who would be directly affected by the introduction of safe standing.  

83% of the fans are in favour of safe standing being implemented in the Famous Five Lower and 82% said that a safe standing section would improve the atmosphere at Easter Road. 51% of current season ticket holders said that they would ether remain in the section or be interested in more information.  

The club will directly contact all current season ticket holders that will be affected by the implementation of safe standing, and they will share an online form for fans so they can register their interest in moving to this area.  

This summer, Hibernia FC will also create a new family section and continue to improve the facilities for disabled supporters.  

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Paris 2024 opening ceremony attendees cut in half  

The number of spectators that could attend the Paris 2024 Olympic Games opening ceremony has been estimated at about 300,00, half as many as were previously expected. In May 2023 it was stated that up to 600,000 people were expected at the opening ceremony. 

This statement was made by French Interior minister Gerald Demanin. He added that “the idea is that there will be 100,000 people on the lower quays (with paying tickets) and more than 220,000 people on the upper quays (with free tickets), then there are all those who live there and who will be able to rent, have parties along the Seine “.  The final number will be announced at the end of the consultation process in spring 2024.  

The opening ceremony will take place alongside the river Seine and will be a 6-kilometre-long parade.  

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AFC Asian Cup Qatar sets new attendance record

The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 has set a new total attendance record of 1.06 million with 11 matches still to go. The 18th edition of the tournament surpasses the previous record set in 2004.  

After 40 matches, the Asian Cup recently also eclipsed the 1.5 billion marks in terms of digital engagement and currently ranks second in the average attendance charts with 26,672 supporters. Another record achieved during this year's tournament is the highest attendance for an opening match, 82,490, on 12 January in the Lusail Stadium.  

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Further funds from city of Stuttgart into MHP Arena redevelopment

A new €20m funding package has been approved by the city of Stuttgart to ensure the stadium retains its place as a host stadium for the UEFA Euro 2024.  

At the moment, the MHP Arena, home of Bundesliga football club VfB Stuttgart, is undergoing the final phase of its revamp. The redevelopment is scheduled to be completed before the start of Euro 2024.  

The MHP Arena is the sixth largest sports facility in Germany with a capacity of 60,449. The stadium will host 4 group stage games and a quarter final. The total cost of the renovation will now rise to up to €139,5m.  

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Levski Sofia created new company to manage reconstruction of their new stadium  

Levski Sofia, Bulgarian first league football club, announced to have created a new company, called Stadion Georgi Asparuhov, to manage the reconstruction of their new stadium. The company is fully owned by PFC Levski AD. The new stadium will be built on the site of their current stadium which will be demolished.  

A few years ago, the club began a redevelopment of its stadium but only managed to build one of the stands. The project was stopped due to a change in club ownership.  

The club stated: “the purpose of the newly established organisation is to work actively to improve the overall infrastructure of the club, including the realisation of the most important step related to the development of Levski, namely: construction or complete reconstruction of a football stadium that meets the high standards and expectations of the “blue” supporters. Currently, our team is actively working on creating the necessary prerequisites for the realisation of the stated goals, for the achievement of which we rely on your support and trust”.  

There was no timeline announced when constructions will start, and when the new stadium be opened.  

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