Stadium Industry Updates 7 February 2023

National Police Chiefs’ Council apologises for Hillborough failures

Leaders from the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council have apologised for “profoundly failing” families bereaved by the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 97 Liverpool fans.

National police leaders have promised “widespread changes” to policing after releasing their response to the Hillsborough Families Report. The report by the Rt Revd James Jones recommended action from public bodies and government to ensure the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families could not be repeated.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/jan/31/police-chiefs-apologise-for-hillsborough-failures

Harrogate Town continues efforts to bring stadium up to EFL standards

 League Two club Harrogate Town has announced the mid-season conversion of one of the stands at the EnviroVent Stadium, as part of ongoing efforts to bring the venue up to English Football League (EFL) standards. As part of the wider stadium development plans, Town said work will soon begin on converting the Black Sheep Brewery stand into an all-seated stand with the aim of being completed in time for the game against Stockport County on February 11. In May, Town announced plans to invest £3.5 million to improve its infrastructure, with work to include a new seated stand. Town finished the 2021-22 season 19th in League Two, while it currently sits 21st in the table. This season is the club’s third in the EFL after promotion from the National League in 2020.

Read more at https://www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk/news/people/terrace-at-harrogate-town-to-be-converted-into-all-seating-stand-at-envirovent-stadium-4007563

GAA Armagh renames home ground “Box-it Athletic Grounds” in new naming rights deal.

Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) county board Armagh has agreed a stadium naming rights deal with Box-It, a local cardboard box manufacturing company.

Under the deal, the home of Armagh GAA will be renamed Box-It Athletic Grounds. The board said a “significant commercial investment” has been committed for the next three years.

The redevelopment of the Athletic Grounds was completed in 2011, transforming the stadium through the construction of a 5,700-capacity covered stand and increased spectator capacity of over 18,000. The Athletic Grounds has previously had a sponsor’s name attached to it through a deal with Morgan Fuels that ended in 2012.

Read More at https://hoganstand.com/Article/Index/326430

Liverpool FC awarded sustainable BSI certificate

Liverpool has announced it has become the first Premier League football club to be awarded the British Standards Institute (BSI) ISO 20121 certificate, which recognises and awards the successful delivery of sustainable events. Recipients of the certificate need to demonstrate they are minimising potential negative impacts on the environment, communities and local economy – maximising the positive impacts and leaving a legacy to be proud of.

The certification is the latest accolade for Liverpool’s The Red Way initiative, which puts sustainability at the heart of everything the club does, including matchday operations, and the running of Anfield stadium and AXA Training Centre.

Read more at https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/lfc-becomes-first-premier-league-club-be-sustainably-certified

2027 Asian Cup to be held in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has further strengthened its position in the football market after it was confirmed as host of the 2027 Asian Cup. The decision by Asian Football Confederation member associations at the AFC Congress in Manama, Bahrain comes after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in December withdrew its bid to stage the national team tournament.

The Saudi bid plan foresees the Asian Cup taking place in eight main stadia across the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. A new stadium in each of the three cities will be part of the plan.

King Fahd Stadium (Riyadh), Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium (Riyadh), Prince Muhammad Bin Fahd Stadium (Dammam) and Prince Saud City Bin Jalawi Stadium (Khobar) are also set for significant redevelopment, according to the organisers, who had set out the prospect of 10 stadia being utilised in their bid book.

Read more at https://gulfbusiness.com/saudi-arabia-hosting-rights-of-asian-cup-2027/

Twickenham adds unique pitch-side conferencing experience

Twickenham Stadium is making the venue’s seating bowl available for conferences with space for up to 1,000 delegates. Twickenham will combine its mobile screens and staging set-ups with conference hospitality to offer a “striking and original” conference environment. The initiative comes after the stadium received a number of larger conference enquiries.

Delegates will be able to get nearer to the pitch and experience the stadium bowl more closely. The move allows Twickenham to expand its conference capacity to 3,000.

The stadium bowl can be used alongside any of the venue’s existing 34 event spaces, or 150 pitch-facing boxes. The initiative will be utilised during the warmer months of the year.

Read more at https://www.twickenhamstadium.com/news/conferences-and-venue-hire/twickenham-introduces-pitch-side-conferencing

Carabao Cup final to feature safe standing tickets

The English Football League (EFL) has confirmed that standing areas will be in place for this month’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium. The match between Manchester United and Newcastle United will be the first major domestic English men’s final in almost 35 years where standing will be permitted.

The two clubs will receive an allocation of 867 standing-area seats at Wembley. The zones will be located behind each goal in the East and West Stands to accommodate both sets of supporters.

Read more at: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/carabao-cup-final-safe-standing-wembley-man-utd-newcastle-b1057465.html

Club Brugge’s development project dealt new blow

Belgian Pro League football team Club Brugge has expressed its frustration after efforts to deliver a new stadium that date back to 2007 were dealt another sizeable blow following the upholding of a complaint against an environmental permit granted in October 2021.

A group led by Belgian architecture firm B2Ai and French counterpart SCAU were appointed to develop the plans, which were due to see a new stadium (pictured) built on the site of the 29,000-seat Jan Breydel Stadion, which first opened in 1975.

The new stadium will seat 40,116 fans, is intended to provide a more intimate experience, and includes a number of eye-catching design elements. These will include its exterior being draped in a special type of highly resistant perforated textile covering, and its interior feature a 12,500-seat stand modelled on the famous ‘yellow wall’ at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park.

Read more at: https://www.thestadiumbusiness.com/2023/02/03/club-brugge-stadium-project-dealt-fresh-blow/

Green light for new Cagliari stadium after funding is secured

The Regional Council of Sardinia has given the green light to provide €50m in funding towards a new stadium for Italian Serie B football club Cagliari. The funding will be allocated over four years, with an initial €3m to be provided in 2023. A further €15m will be provided in 2024, €12m in 2025, and €20m in 2026.

It is hoped the stadium, which will have an initial capacity of 25,000, will be delivered in time for the 2025-26 season. There are also plans to propose the stadium as a host venue as part of Italy’s bid to stage the 2032 UEFA European Championship.

Read more at https://www.agenzianova.com/en/news/green-light-to-the-new-stadium-of-cagliari-from-the-region-of-sardinia-50-million-euros/