Premier League football club Swansea City has officially taken full operational control of the Liberty Stadium in a move that will allow the team to explore more commercial opportunities and the possible expansion of the venue.
The Welsh club has signed a new long-term deal with Swansea Council following successful talks between the organisation and fellow Liberty Stadium tenant Ospreys, which plays in the Pro14 rugby union competition.
Swansea will take sole control of the Stadium Management Company and the club’s majority shareholders Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien welcomed the news.
“This is a tremendous achievement and one the club has been working towards for many months,’’ Kaplan said. “This deal is a hugely important step towards the sustainability of Swansea City Football Club and certainly begins a pathway to stadium expansion, which we have always said was a key part of our plan for the club.”
Levien added: “I’d like to pay tribute to (chief operating officer) Chris Pearlman and everybody at the club who have worked tirelessly in getting this deal over the line.
“This is the realisation of months of planning and work that allows the football club to take control of its destiny. We want to give Swansea City the greatest chance of success and the option to potentially expand and allow more people the ability to come to games is a major leap towards that goal.”
Previously, the two clubs and the council had representation on the SMC, a mutually controlled body that managed the venue. With a capacity of 21,000, the stadium, which was built in 2005, is among the smaller venues in the Premier League.
Pearlman said: “We believe this agreement will help push the club forward by tapping into new revenue streams at the stadium. It will now allow us to be more active in exploring the likes of stadium expansion, naming rights, sponsorship, catering revenue and enhancing supporters’ match-day experiences.”
The agreement will also result in the club funding the construction of two new 3G pitches in Swansea every five years for community use.
Image: Christopher Elkins