Stadium Industry Updates 7 March 2023

Check out the latest new updates from the European stadium industry!

Sosnowiec opens new ArcelorMittal Park

ArcelorMittal Park, a new football stadium in the Polish city of Sosnowiec, staged its first match on Saturday as I Liga club Zagłębie Sosnowiec defeated GKS Katowice 2-1.

The 11,600-capacity stadium forms part of the Zagłębiowskiego Parku Sportowego (ZPS), a new sports complex that also includes a 3,502-seat arena and a 2,545-seat winter sports stadium.

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LASK Linz wins first game in new Raiffeisen Arena

Austrian Bundesliga football club LASK celebrated its first match at the new Raiffeisen Arena with a dramatic victory over Austria Lustenau on Friday.

The match was heading towards a goalless draw until Marin Ljubicic netted a 94th minute penalty to hand the three points to the home team, delighting the majority of the 12,000 fans in attendance.

LASK unveiled plans for the new stadium, which had aimed to be completed by the summer of 2022, back in July 2020. Financial services company Raiffeisen Bank secured naming rights to the stadium, with the firm already sponsoring LASK’s existing home, which is also known as the Raiffeisen Arena and has a capacity of 6,087.

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Inter Milan identifies a Plan B for new stadium

Italian Serie A football club Inter Milan is reportedly considering plans for its own stadium without cross-city rival AC Milan.

The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper has reported that Inter has identified an area of private land in Milan for a potential new home. The option is currently said to be considered a “Plan B” for Inter but it would become a priority if the project for a new shared stadium with Milan does not come to fruition.

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AFC Sunderland investigates option of solar farm above car park

Championship football club Sunderland is exploring the potential to develop a canopy solar farm above the car park surrounding the Stadium of Light.

The solar farm would create a private electricity network for the benefit of the club and other businesses located on the stadium site.

The club is also working in collaboration with Sunderland City Council to investigate the opportunity to create a district heating system using the mine water from the disused mine on which the Stadium of Light is built.

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PGE Narodowy stadium cleared to host events

Warsaw’s PGE Narodowy stadium has been cleared to host football matches and concerts this year, although it has been recommended that its roof remain open after a defect was found on a part of its steel-rope structure last year.

In November, the stadium was forced to temporarily close after an inspection of its roof revealed the defect. Specialised tests were carried out on individual elements of the roof as part of a standard inspection, which revealed a structural defect on one of the steel-rope connectors.

The 58,000-seat stadium was due to host Poland’s pre-World Cup friendly match against Chile on November 16 but the fixture was relocated to the nearby Stadion Wojska Polskiego due to safety concerns. PGE Narodowy did reopen in December, with stadium operators confirming that all elements relieving and securing the defective element had been installed.

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Concept designs unveiled for Etihad Stadium expansion

Premier League football club Manchester City has unveiled concept designs for a proposed expansion of the North Stand at the Etihad Stadium and a 3,000-capacity City Square fan zone.

Fans and the local community have been invited to share their feedback on City’s plans between now and March 26. The update comes after City in December announced that it was undertaking feasibility studies to expand the capacity of the Etihad Stadium from 53,400 to over 60,000.

The plans centre on an expansion of the North Stand with one larger, single upper tier above the existing lower tier. The fan zone also forms part of the plans, along with a wide range of food and drink outlets, a club shop, museum, and hotel as City looks to expand its offering on match days and non-match days.

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Municipality of Rome to receive new plans for Stadio Flaminio

The Municipality of Rome is set to be presented with a new proposal for the Stadio Flaminio that will see it transformed into a 25,000-seat venue able to be fully enclosed through the addition of a roof, according to Il Messaggero.

The Italian newspaper said banking groups Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Istituto del Credito Sportivo (ICS) will put forward the proposal for the historic venue, which has lain dormant since 2011.

The project will reportedly be privately financed at a cost of at least €80m (£71.1m/$85.2m), with CDP and ICS seeking a multi-year concession to operate the stadium and recoup its investment through revenue generated from the staging of events.

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FIFA reportedly considering Stade de France takeover

FIFA, football’s global governing body, is reportedly considering the possibility of taking over or buying the Stade de France in Paris.

French newspaper L’Équipe, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that FIFA president Gianni Infantino and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the matter during a meeting at the Élysée Palace on February 15.

FIFA denied any interest when contacted by L’Équipe but the newspaper has claimed that Macron and Infantino first discussed the possibility during the recent World Cup in Qatar. Noël Le Graët, who earlier this week stepped down as president of the French Football Federation (FFF) amid reports of mismanagement at the body, is also said to be involved in the discussions.

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Harrogate Town’s latest stadium upgrades approved

League Two club Harrogate Town has been given the green light by Harrogate Borough Council to upgrade the EnviroVent Stadium.

Your Harrogate reported that the plans will include the installation of almost 1,000 seats at the stadium, which is the smallest in the English Football League (EFL) with a capacity of 5,071.

While the project will not expand the overall capacity of the stadium, it will increase the number of seats from 1,193 to 2,060. The upgrades are required to bring the stadium up to EFL standards.

A total of 264 seats will be fitted on the Myrings terrace, according to Your Harrogate. The 1919 bar will also be demolished and replaced with a standing terrace.

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AC Milan appoints CAA Icon to develop stadium plans

Italian Serie A football club AC Milan has reportedly appointed the CAA Icon agency to support its efforts as it considers building a new stadium without cross-city rival Inter Milan.

CAA Icon will assist Milan as the club gauges fan opinion on a new stadium, according to Calcio e Finanza. The two parties have launched a survey to better understand fans’ match-day habits and preferences.

Last month, it was reported by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that Milan, under its new US ownership group RedBird Capital Partners, had elected to split from Inter and pursue its own stadium project.

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ESSMA Partner Premium Plus to host inspirational events

ESSMA Partner Premium plus is set to host inspirational events to help improve the customer experience later this month. On the 21st of March, the premium partner of Zendesk, Aircall and Asana will host the “Zendesk CX Trends Event”, where they will discuss 5 trends and use cases from clients like KAA Gent and Bizzbike to inspire and learn which factors are most important to account for within the field of Customer Service.

On 23 March, Premium Plus will also organize the “Asana Breakfast Inspiration session” to show what the power of a work management tool can be within a company. In concrete terms, they will show you how you can work together efficiently & effectively to get more done in one day.

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