Stadium Industry Updates 9 May 2023

The latest updates from the European stadium industry!

FC Basel revises lease deal of St. Jakob Park ahead of renovation

FC Basel has revised its lease deal for St. Jakob-Park, with the Swiss Super League football club stating the new contract will be an important part of the proposed redevelopment of the stadium. Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park (GSS), the body which owns the stadium, will now rent the venue to FCB in a “basic configuration” for a usage fee of CHF1.65m per year. FCB currently pays CHF3.8m per year, but instead will now bear responsibility for tenant fit-out at the commercial value and will manage and renovate the stadium at its own expense in the future. The Basler Zeitung newspaper said FCB has paid CHF5m to secure these rights. FCB said in a statement: “The mutual advantages of the new stadium usage agreement can be summarised as follows. It simplifies cooperation and interaction, reduces the stadium rent for FCB and relieves GSS of the tenant expansion, for which FCB will be responsible in future.

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City of Murcia presents stadium redevelopment plans in light of 2030 FIFA World Cup bid

Murcia has become the latest Spanish city to present stadium redevelopment plans in an effort to secure a place in the country’s joint bid with Portugal and Morocco for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.The Estadio Enrique Roca de Murcia currently has a capacity of 31,000, but this will be enhanced significantly through plans presented by the Council. The preliminary project foresees a three-stage process, commencing with general renovation work to the stadium in the first phase. The second phase would see the stadium expanded to a capacity of 45,179 through the addition of a third tier of seating. The final phase would focus on exterior work, particularly enhancing parking provisions at the venue. In addition, stadium lighting will be upgraded to meet the standards of world football’s governing body, while a 6,000 m2 photovoltaic solar installation is also proposed in order to guarantee that 75% of the total power consumed comes from renewable sources.

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Ibrox Stadium to host Gordon Ramsay Restaurant in unique partnership

Gordon Ramsay has rekindled his association with Rangers through a new partnership between his restaurant group and the Scottish Premiership football club. The collaboration is Gordon Ramsay Restaurants’ first in sports and will include the opening of a new hospitality lounge, ‘Menu by Gordon Ramsay’, at Ibrox stadium. The newly opened Blue Sky Lounge restaurant at the Glasgow stadium is also set to transform its menu, welcoming a range of Gordon Ramsay signature dishes.

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SC Braga starts work on 2.600-seat Estádio Centenário

Portuguese Primeira Liga football club SC Braga has commenced work on the construction of Estádio Centenário, a new 2,600-seat stadium that will serve as the home of its women’s team. The stadium, which is scheduled for completion at the start of the 2024-25 season, will also host matches played by Braga’s men’s B team. The venue will feature a 250-space car park, medical department and LED lighting to ensure it can host evening matches.

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AC Milan and Inter ask city of Milan for more time to detail stadium plans

Italian Serie A football clubs Inter Milan and AC Milan have sent a letter to the Municipality of Milan requesting more time and greater clarity on plans for the San Siro stadium as the teams consider their own separate projects. In a statement released on 3 May, Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala revealed that the city asked the two clubs for an update on the economic and financial plan relating to the joint stadium project following the conclusion of a public debate process in mid-April. The clubs have sent a joint letter to the city requesting an extension to the deadline for reviewing the project dossier, and clarification on any constraints on the existing San Siro and on the hypothesis of a public referendum.

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Racing Strassbourg officially starts Stade de La Meinau revamp

RC Strasbourg has officially launched the redevelopment project for its Stade de la Meinau, with the cost of the venture having increased significantly. The project, now worth a total of €160m excluding tax, is being co-financed by the Eurométropole de Strasbourg (up to €75.8m), Région Grand-Est (up to €37.5m), the City of Strasbourg (up to €18.8m), Collectivité Européenne d’Alsace (up to €18.8m) and RC Strasbourg (up to €9.1m). In addition, Racing will also finance the development of commercial spaces for an amount of €14m. Work will begin in June, with the extension of the South Stand. It will then continue with the restructuring of the South and West Stands and the development of a Fan Zone (from summer 2024 to summer 2025) and the restructuring of the North and East Stands and the end of the development of the Fan Zone (from the summer of 2025 to the end of 2025). Completion of the East Stand, plus the laying of a new pitch from the start of 2026 will see completion targeted for the summer of that year.

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Draft of UK anti-terror stadium legislation published

The UK Government has published draft legislation that will strengthen security provisions at venues across the country. The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill sets out the requirements that, under ‘Martyn’s Law’, venues and other organisations will have to meet to ensure public safety. Martyn’s Law is a tribute to Martyn Hett who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. A standard tier will apply to public premises with a maximum capacity of 100 or more people, whilst an enhanced tier applies to public premises and events with a maximum capacity of 800 or more people.

Standard tier premises will be required to undertake basic, low-cost activities to improve their preparedness, including terrorism protection training and evaluating the best procedures to put in place in order to minimise impact. Enhanced tier premises and events have further requirements in recognition of the potential consequences of a successful attack. This will include appointing a designated senior officer who must regularly review the security of the venue.

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Arena group completes Stadium Solutions acquisition

Events solution business Arena Group has completed its acquisition of stadium specialist Stadium Solutions.The deal is designed to expand Arena’s presence in the UK and Europe stadium market. Stadium Solutions, which is based in West Sussex, will continue to operate under the same name. Stadium Solutions has been operating since 1994 and specialises in building spectator stands, covered standing terraces, turnstiles and turnstile buildings, and dugouts. It has delivered projects for football clubs such as Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion and Salford City. Arena works with a number of sporting events, teams and venues, including London Stadium, the London Marathon, Edinburgh Rugby and Cheltenham Festival.

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Stadio Olimpico introduces in-seat ordering

Stadio Olimpico, home of Italian Serie A football clubs AS Roma and SS Lazio, has introduced in-seat ordering, enabling fans to have food and beverages delivered to them in the stands during matches. The move is designed to reduce queues in the concourse areas at the stadium. Fans will be able to order items by scanning a QR code on their seat.

Initially, fans will be able to order water, beer, soft drinks and snacks, and from next season this could extend to more sought-after items. The service will be in operation from when the turnstiles open until 30 minutes after the match has finished. Fans in the Monte Mario stand will be the first to sample the service.

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