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Valencia council approves arena project

Valencia city council has given the green light for the development of a new arena which aims to be one of the finest in Spain by approving a 50-year concession for the construction and operation of the facility.

The arena is intended to be the new home of Liga ACB basketball club Valencia Basket, as well as  host other sporting and entertainment events. Licampa 1617, the enterprise formed to deliver the €220m (£198.9m/$246.7m) arena project, has been handed the 50-year concession through which it will have to pay a fee of €200,000 per year to the city council.

The arena will be privately financed by Licampa, which was founded by Juan Roig, the billionaire businessman behind the Mercadona supermarket chain and owner of Valencia Basket. The arena will have a seated capacity of 15,600, which will extend to 18,600 with standing room.

It will be located in the neighbourhood of Quatre Carreres. The arena will also include a 1,200-square-metre multi-purpose room and a 1,300-capacity car park, with the surrounding area to include a public park and new-build facilities for local school ‘Les Arts’.

Mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, hailed the “very intense work” carried out in recent months to reach this stage. He said: “A project, like this multi-purpose arena, will put in the world-wide elite the project of Valencia Basket, but also will facilitate the arrival to our city many other important events such as from the arts and musical fields, to which until now we could not aspire to due to the absence of a facility like this.”

Ribó said the public-private partnership has made possible a project that will act as an “impetus for job creation and economic dynamism that a project of this magnitude means for Valencia”. He added: “This comes at a time when the city is suffering the impact of the (COVID-19) health crisis and we must move forward as a resilient city to meet global challenges.”

Work on-site is expected to commence this summer, with a view to completing the arena in 2023. At this point, Licampa will seek a third party to manage and operate the arena.

Roig added: “My commitment to the development of this project is a source of pride, because it will also help to reactivate the city’s economy, while at the same time helping to raise the notoriety and reputation of Valencia and the Valencian community.”

The latest designs for the project were released in November by sports architecture firm HOK and local practice ERRE.

Image: HOK/ERRE/Licampa