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2019 In Review – November

Budapest’s new 68,000-seat Puskás Arena, one of the host venues for next year’s UEFA European Championships, staged its first match as the Hungarian national team fell to a 2-1 defeat against Uruguay in front of a sell-out crowd.

The venue, named after Hungarian football legend Ferenc Puskás, has been built on the site of the former Ferenc Puskás Stadium. It will serve as the home of the Hungarian national team and will host Group F matches and a Round-of-16 fixture at Euro 2020.

The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) approved the first phase of a $450m (£349.5m/€408m) renovation of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with a construction firm appointed and the first renderings revealed for the project.

LSED, which oversees the home of NFL American football franchise the New Orleans Saints for the state, voted to approve the project, with Louisiana-based Broadmoor named as the construction firm for the first phase, which will largely consist of back-of-house work, building a large kitchen and food-service area and adding exits to prepare for the removal of the ramps inside the Superdome.

The cost of the first phase has been set at around $100m, with Victor Trahan, CEO of Trahan Architects, the design firm for the project, stating that it will act as the “enabling phase” for the more high-profile work to follow from 2021 onwards.

German Bundesliga football club Eintracht Frankfurt revealed plans to expand Commerzbank-Arena to a capacity of around 60,000 as part of an agreement for it to become the operator of its home stadium.

Eintracht and the City of Frankfurt, owner of the Commerzbank-Arena, agreed on the key terms for the future use and development of the stadium from July 1, 2020, signing a letter of intent on a new deal that is set to run through to June 30, 2035.

Commerzbank-Arena first opened in 1925. It currently has a capacity of 51,500 for football matches and the City has committed to expand this to around 60,000 seats by the 2023-24 season at the latest. Later in the month, Eintracht Frankfurt claimed a first for German football by launching an Internet of Things space at the stadium.

Malaysian investment firm YTL submitted plans for a new multi-purpose arena in the English city of Bristol.

The planning application centres on a project to repurpose the Brabazon Hangars in the north of the city. YTL plans on using the 28,000 square metres of floorspace in the three hangars to create an arena, exhibition and leisure space.

The arena, which would sit in the Central Hangar, would have a capacity of 17,080, making it the third largest in the UK after Manchester Arena and The O2.

The Phoenix Suns NBA basketball franchise revealed renderings of a $230m (£179m/€209m) revamp of the team’s home, Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The redevelopment, labelled ‘Project 201: PHX Reimagined’, will renovate one of the oldest arenas in the NBA. The facility has not undergone a facelift since its opening 27 years ago.

The changes will include a central video scoreboard that will be six times larger than the current platform, as well as enhanced hospitality suites and a 5G network throughout the venue.

Image: InterTicket