Italy Modernizing Italy's Aging Soccer Stadiums
Rising U.S. Investment in Italian Soccer Teams May Stimulate Opportunities for U.S. Stadium and Live Entertainment Businesses
Italy’s soccer stadiums are old, on average 64 years old, which would be retirement age for many Europeans. Few have a system of skyboxes and modern premium seating, and on average only 59% of seating is covered. Approximately 14% only use renewable energy which means that most are missing opportunities to produce solar energy from the roofs of stadiums, buildings, and over the parking areas that would save money and improve their carbon footprint.
According to the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio), the body that manages Italy’s leagues, Italy urgently needs to renovate most of its sports facilities. Italy built or restructured most of its larger stadiums for the 1990 World Cup, and many are even older. The exception is Juventus Stadium in the northwestern city of Turin, which opened in 2011. Juventus’s arena is the only one planned from the ground up with more recent revenue-creating services in mind. In addition to premium seating and 64 skyboxes, the complex includes a museum, team store, a shopping center, and a sports medicine clinic.
Italy’s teams, host cities, and their investors are aware that they are far from achieving the full revenue potential of their stadiums. They are also aware of the need for greater security and safety. There are currently 12 projects for the construction of new soccer stadiums that are currently in the planning and/or initial building phase. If they go ahead as planned, these projects will see $1.8 billion in investment and would increase capacity to by +2.7 million tickets, increasing ticketing revenues by $166.2 million). It would also create almost 10,000 jobs. The city of Florence is planning a new stadium and the cities of Milan and Rome are both in talks with their teams and developers for new stadiums and related real estate developments.
Opportunities may exist for U.S. stadium and live entertainment management companies and developers, construction companies specialized in sports and entertainment venue, architecture firms, suppliers of stadium and concert-based materials and products, and digital solutions for stadium security and crowd flow management. However, U.S. businesses should also consider that the decision-making processes for public approvals and investment in Italy may take longer – and involve more stakeholders – than in other markets. This is especially true considering that only five professional teams in the top two leagues own their own arenas. The rest are owned by local municipalities.
For more information, contact Joshua.Lawrence@trade.gov.