Stadium Industry Updates - 8 August 2023

The latest updates from the stadium industry!

Sporting CP unveils stadium upgrades

Portuguese Primeira Liga football club Sporting CP has confirmed that its Estádio José Alvalade home will undergo a range of upgrades during the 2023-24 season.

Wi-Fi will be fitted across the stadium, as well as the club’s training centre, before the end of the campaign. Additionally, new turnstiles will be installed with NFC technology at the stadium, allowing contactless payments. “Sporting CP members, employees and partners will be able to make use of a Wi-Fi network in the Stadium in the New Era 2.0,” club vice-president André Bernardo said. “It is another critical milestone for our goal of providing an excellent experience.”

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Nomisma to lead AS Roma stadium public consultation

The Roma Capitale local administration has appointed a company to begin public consultations on the proposed new stadium for Italian Serie A football club AS Roma.

The authority said that Bologna-based Nomisma would lead the “public debate” on the stadium, which is slated to be built in the Pietralata district of Rome. Nomisma will use public consultancy Res Publica, which has experience in gauging public opinion on sports infrastructure projects. Media company FB & Associati will also work on the project. Nomisma will coordinate a team of 16 specialists on the project, beginning in September, with public engagement set to take place in person and on digital platforms. A date for the final report on the public consultation, which will contain a summary of all opinions on the development, was not given.

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Inter study possible Rozzano developpment

Inter Milan has secured exclusive rights to carry out a feasibility study into the potential development of a new stadium in the Rozzano suburb of the city. Italian real estate groups Brioschi and Bastogi, which currently own the land through a company called Infrafin, confirmed the deal in a statement. The Italian Serie A club will have until the end of April 2024 to study the possible redevelopment of the land. Inter will prepare a report on the possible project, including a cost breakdown.

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Racing Strassbourg to have stable capacity during revamp

French Ligue 1 football club RC Strasbourg has announced that the capacity of the Stade de la Meinau will remain stable at its current capacity this season despite the start of a three-year renovation programme at the stadium. Work began in June on a €160m project that will feature an expansion and remodelling of the venue, as well as a new Fan Zone. The South Stand is being expanded over the 2023-24 season, before further redevelopment work takes place on the South and West Stands over the 2024-25 campaign. The restructuring of the North and East Stands, the conclusion of work on the Fan Zone, and the laying of a new pitch will happen during the 2025-26 season.

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Renovated Santiago Bernabéu to be finished before Christmas

Redevelopment work at Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is set to be wrapped up just before Christmas, according to a new report. Spanish newspaper AS reported that the Spanish LaLiga club had informed some stakeholders, including representatives of supporters’ clubs, of an intention to hold a grand reopening event on December 23. Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz – a fan of the club – is lined up to perform at the event, which will also be attended by other famous Real supporters from the sport and cultural sectors.

The final stages of the redevelopment work are likely to focus on the retail areas of the stadium, the report added.

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Arsenal FC hires Legends for non-matchday event business

Arsenal has appointed Legends to manage sales and delivery for the English Premier League club’s non-matchday meeting and event business at Emirates Stadium. The meetings and events business at the venue caters to a range of events – from private intimate meetings to large multi-day, multi-space conferences – and with added value including behind-the-scenes tours and merchandise opportunities.

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Regione Campania seeking to transform Napoli’s former home

Regione Campania has unveiled its latest stadium redevelopment project, the transformation of Naples’ historic Stadio Arturo Collana into a multi-sport facility.

Opened in 1929, the Arturo Collana was repurposed by the Nazis as a concentration camp during World War II and also became the home of Serie A football club Napoli for an extended period of time. The reigning Italian champions played at the stadium from 1944 through to 1959 following the destruction of its Stadio Partenopeo during the war, whilst it awaited the development of current home, Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Located in the Vomero district of Naples, Regione Campania has now set out a €40m plan to renovate the Arturo Collana and make it increasingly usable to host a variety of sporting activities. The two-year project envisages the creation of 10 new gyms, a basketball court and an ice rink, in addition to the indoor swimming pool, whose adaptation and renovation works are already underway.

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Bristol Rovers’ new South Stand not ready for start of the season

English League One football club Bristol Rovers has announced that the Memorial Stadium’s new South Stand will not be ready for the start of the season. Rovers said the project has been delayed due to “issues outside of the club’s control”. The club’s first home match of the season is against Barnsley on August 12, and the visiting team will be limited to 500 terrace tickets, with no disabled or accessible seating, due to the delays. Rovers announced in April that the South Stand would undergo renovation work over the summer, with the plans seeing the old South and Southwest Stand removed and replaced with one solid-roof structure that incorporates the whole space, offering a full wraparound, complete with a new corner section.

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Rugby World cup to take place in 2026 in southern hemisphere

The next edition of the Rugby League World Cup will now take place in 2026 in the southern hemisphere as International Rugby League (IRL) adopts a new hosting model for the national team tournament. France had been due to stage the next Rugby League World Cup in 2025 but the country pulled out of hosting due to funding-related issues. IRL later announced that Qatar, New Zealand, South Africa and Fiji had declared an interest in hosting in 2025. IRL has now confirmed that the event will be pushed back 12 months to 2026, with the tournament to be held in the southern hemisphere. A decision on the host nations will be made by the end of the year.

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Merck extends naming rights deal with Darmstadt 98

Pharmaceuticals company Merck has extended its stadium naming rights deal with SV Darmstadt 98, as the German club prepares to return to the Bundesliga for the 2023-24 season. Under the new contract, the 17,800-capacity venue will continue to be known as the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor until at least 2028. Merck’s role as a premium partner of the club, along with naming rights to its junior academy and football boarding school, have also been extended until 2028. Darmstadt 98 has played at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor since 2014, with Merck having last extended its naming rights deal in May 2018.

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Apollodorus architecture proposes alternative for Stadium for Bath

London-based Apollodorus Architecture has put forward a ‘counter project’ to the Stadium for Bath venture being driven by English Premiership club Bath Rugby, which repositions the Recreation Ground site as a Colosseum-like structure.

Apollodorus, which specialises in classical and traditional design, has said its proposal represents a different reality to the “open wound” of the current site of “unfortunate structures” on the bank of the River Avon and the open space of the Recreation Ground.

The company’s proposal is designed to reflect the city of Bath’s status as a World Heritage Site and is in response to the latest scheme put forward by the club. In May, Bath Rugby unveiled revised plans for a major redevelopment of the Recreation Ground.

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