For fans of state-of-the-art football stadiums, there’s never been a better time to be alive.
Not only did Tottenham finally open their brand new ground (which it must be said is absolutely gorgeous), but on 2 April Real Madrid unveiled their renderings for the €525m renovation of the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Los Blancos aren’t the only side who have plans to improve their ground, with a host of clubs announcing their own renovation designs, or even plans to build new stadia altogether.
We’ll cover all of them below – enjoy!
Real Madrid (Santiago Bernabeu)
We begin with the aforementioned plans from Real Madrid to improve their famous home, which will cost between €525m and €575m to complete.
With an estimated completion date of 2022, the new plans include a retractable roof, encasing the entire ground in stainless steel, and a new commercial space will help bring in €150m in additional annual revenue for the club.
See a full article on the Bernabeu’s redevelopment here.
Barcelona (Camp Nou)
Barcelona’s ambitious ‘Espai Barça’ redevelopment project will see Camp Nou’s capacity increase to 105,000 (which will make the venue the second biggest football stadium in the world), the addition of a roof, as well as the incorporation of 5g mobile technology (the first stadium in the world to do so).
The remodelling – which will occur between 2020 and 2023 – will be done without Barcelona having to find a new home, and will incur an estimated cost of €360m.
See a full article on Camp Nou’s redevelopment here.
Everton (Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium)
Plans for Everton’s new 52,000 seater stadium were ‘leaked’ in February by Everton fan group Everton Aren’t We, who released the concept pictures after the supporter site received a PDF document with plans for the new ground.
The plans predict the Toffees will move into their new stadium in 2023 – finally saying goodbye to Goodison Park, their home ground since 1892 – though the club’s chief executive Robert Elstone said last year that the project will cost ‘significantly more’ than the initial £300m projected cost.
Crystal Palace (Selhurst Park)
The Eagles have already been granted the green light (in principle) to expand Selhurst Park’s capacity from 26,000 to over 34,000.
However, the club are still in talks with Croydon Council and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, with approval from both needed before final planning permission is issued.
If that all goes to plan, then Palace will start work on the main stand this summer to have it ready by the beginning of the 2020/21 season.
Napoli (Stadio San Paolo)
When the owner of your club calls your stadium a ‘cesspool’, its probably time to find a new home.
Such is the case for Napoli, with president Aurelio De Laurentiis currently looking at options to finance the building of a new stadium (including a McDonald’s backed venue as one possibility). Good thing too, since the third tier of the ground is currently off limits to the public.
The Stadio San Paolo is currently going through a €23m redevelopment phase in preparation for the 2019 Universiade (international student and youth competition), but De Laurentiis is pushing hard for a new stadium altogether. However, obtaining building permits and financial investment from the city is proving difficult.
Feyenoord (Feyenoord Stadium)
We all love a stadium next to a body of water – they just look better. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at the renderings of Feyenoord’s new home in Rotterdam below.
Feyenoord’s ground – which will replace the historic but ageing Stadium de Kuip – will sit on the banks of the river Maas, and with a capacity of 63,000, will be the largest football ground in the Netherlands when it opens in 2023.
AS Roma (Stadio della Roma)
The Serie A giants will be moving into their new ground in 2022 (scheduled), saying goodbye to the Stadio Olimpico, which they currently share with rivals Lazio.
The inspiration for the Stadio della Roma is the Colosseum, which will be reflected in the stone “scrim” that envelops the outside of the stadium. The seating capacity will be 52,000, though this can be extended to 60,000.
While the designs and concept of the new venue are amazing, construction hasn’t actually begun yet. In March, Football Italia reported that Marcello De Vito – President of Rome city council’s assembly – was arrested after he allegedly took bribes from Luca Parnasi, contractor for the Stadio della Roma before he was detained himself last year. Despite the news, the club have insisted that construction on the new ground will go ahead as planned.
In 2016 the Reds completed the expansion of the new Main Stand at their historic ground to increase Anfield’s capacity to just over 54,000.
But Liverpool aren’t quite finished tinkering just yet. In October, club chief executive Peter Moore revealed that the Merseyside outfit were considering adding a further 6,000 seats to the Anfield Road End, taking the ground’s total capacity to over 60,000.
However, the clock’s ticking, as Liverpool must submit detailed blueprints for the next stage of the expansion by September 2019 – yet Moore has indicated that the club are still reviewing their options and plans.
Celta Vigo (Abanca Balaídos)
O Celtiña have been in their home ground since 1982, and has undergone several redevelopments over the years – including in 2002/03 when the club qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Since 2015 Balaídos has been undergoing major renovations, which will become a fully covered stadium with capacity for 31,000 spectators (current capacity is 29,000), and, according to Marca, will include:
“A new facade where images can be projected, the flights of stairs on the exterior will be removed and the press room and changing rooms will be relocated to the central part. In addition, the stands will be nearer to the pitch – eight metres away instead of 35.”
Inter Miami CF (Inter Miami CF Stadium)
David Beckham’s new MLS expansion team will kick off in 2020, with its permanent home due to open in Miami a season or two later (pending financial and location decisions).
Beckham’s ownership group negotiated a real estate deal with the city of Miami to redevelop the city’s only golf course into a 25,000 seat capacity ground, mall and office park.
Forest Green Rovers (Eco Park)
Forest Green Rovers of League Two are doing a solid for the planet by building a new venue which they claim will be the ‘greenest football stadium in the world’.
A statement on the club’s website reads: “Designed by world renowned architects Zaha Hadid and made almost entirely out of wood, it’ll be the first of its kind in the world. With a capacity of 5,000, Eco Park, would be sited in parkland where some five hundred trees and 1.8km of new hedgerows would be planted.”
The plans for the stadium are yet to be approved by Stroud District Council, and fire safety might be an obvious concern, but if the Green do pull it off they will be playing in the most unique ground in world football (and one perfectly suited to their name).
Manchester United (Old Trafford)
The Theatre of Dreams is one of the most iconic grounds in sports, but club officials at United have decided Old Trafford needs a lick of paint and greater capacity.
Plans have been drawn up three times in the last 10 years to expand the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, which would take the stadium’s capacity to just over 80,000.
Those plans keep getting delayed, adjusted or cancelled because of the logistical issues with redeveloping Old Trafford (there’s a railway line behind the stadium with houses just beyond), as well as the cost (over £200m for around 10,000 extra seats with limited additional corporate facilities). Furthermore, the Red Devils would likely have to vacate the ground whilst work is being done, so it may be some time before Old Trafford gets redeveloped.
AC Milan & Inter (San Siro)
Reports earlier this year suggested that AC Milan were ‘fully embracing’ the idea of moving to a new stadium after almost 100 years at the San Siro.
The news suggested that Milan are sold on the idea of investing €600m in a ‘new San Siro’ just a few hundred yards from their current location, and the only thing missing is confirmation from the city of Milan.
It’s not clarified whether Inter are on board with the idea, but if plans go ahead, it’s expected that they will continue to share, as the report details plans for separate entrances for the two sides.
See a full article on AC Milan building a new stadium here.
Empoli (Stadio Carlo Castellani)
The fantastically named Stadio Carlo Castellani has been home to Empoli since 1965, but in 2018 the Serie A outfit announced that it would be launching a complete overhaul of the ground in a project financed through a public-private partnership – the first of its kind in Italy.
The new ground – well, almost new (three of the four stands will be rebuilt) – will accommodate 20,000 fans, and Empoli have stated that the ground will be “be sustainable from a social, economic and environmental perspective thanks to a configuration that will make it a zero emissions facility.”
Valencia (Nou Mestalla)
If you thought Tottenham took a while to build and move into their new ground, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on with Valencia.
In 2007 – yes, 2007 – Valencia began construction on Nou Mestalla, a 54,000-seat stadium intended to replace Estadio Mestalla. Work carried on for two years, but was then halted for financial reasons, and Valencia has continued to play in their old ground since.
However, Los Ches signed an agreement with Deloitte last year to help their transfer to the new ground, and the club are expected to finally move into their new home ahead of the 2020/21 La Liga season.
Bologna (Stadio Renato Dall’Ara)
In January this year Serie A outfit Bologna announced plans to completely redevelop the Dall’Ara, which first opened in 1927.
The work will involve reducing the stadium’s capacity to 27,000 (from 31,000), with room for expansion to 29,000, as well as the installation of a new roof and stands closer to the pitch. The project is expected to take five years to complete.
Real Sociedad (Anoeta Stadium)
La Real’s stadium has undergone significant work since 2017, which involved enlarging the ground and removing the running track around the pitch.
The first phase of redevelopment – including the removal of the track and a new south end stand – was finished just after the start of the 2018/19 season,
the removal of the track and insertion of lower rows of seats on the side stands, and a completely new south end stand. When work is finally completed on the north stand, the stadium will hold 42,300 spectators.
Atalanta (Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia)
Atalanta will begin renovation work on their ancient stadium this year, after the club bought the ground from the local council for €11.2m.
The project will boost the stadium’s capacity from 21,300 to 24,000, and, according to the Stadium Business, Atalanta has previously outlined that other key features of the initiative include, “‘squaring off’ the two end stands of the stadium to connect them with other sections of the venue, as well as building a commercial area in the underground part of the stadium.”
Fiorentina (Nuovo Stadio Fiorentina)
Fiorentina currently play their football at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, though the club have been looking to leave the ancient ground (opened in 1931) since 2008.
Though construction has not yet begun on the ground – thanks to a corruption scandal and difficulties in securing a new site for the stadium – Florence’s mayor has said that the arena could be ready for use by 2023.
The stadium would be built on the Mercafir site in Florence, and would cost around €420m. And holy heck, if the video is anything to go by, it’s going to look absolutely stunning.
Raja Casablanca & Wydad Casablanca (Grand Stade de Casablanca)
This stadium was meant to be part of Morocco’s World Cup in 2010 (had they won the bid instead of South Africa), and then again for the 2026 tournament, but unsuccessful bids meant that it will just have to be used by the city’s two club sides, as well as the Moroccan national team.
Undeterred, Morocco now plan to use the stadium – which will have a capacity of 93,000 once it’s completed in 2025 – for the 2030 World Cup. Third time’s the charm lads