Spanish LaLiga football club Levante has secured a loan of up to €60m (£54.3m/$70.7m) to aid the ongoing redevelopment of its Estadi Ciutat de València.
The club has signed the agreement with Benjamin de Rothschild Infrastructure Debt Generation (BRIDGE), a debt fund platform for infrastructure projects managed by Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management.
The purpose of the agreement is to finance the redevelopment of the Ciutat de Vàlencia, the construction of the new sports city at Nazaret, and cancel mortgage agreements with Caixabank and Cajas Rurales Unidas.
In accordance with the terms signed by the parties, and to structure the operation, a new company has been created, Levante UD Nuevos Desarrollos, of which the club is the sole partner. This new entity will be the owner of the land on which the sports city will sit.
The stadium project aims to redevelop the Ciutat de València, which opened in 1969, to meet the latest LaLiga standards while providing a platform for greater revenue generation by the club. César Azcárate, the architect behind the project, last week told local sports newspaper Superdeporte that phase one is currently proceeding as planned after a short work stoppage due to COVID-19.
He said: “The Ciutat is in transformation.., it is let’s say medium size in LaLiga. It had its limitations and it had no cover, or almost no cover because it only had the cover in the main grandstand. It had the light towers outside the field and they weren’t very appropriate.
“That lack of cover was key, apart from the fact that it serves not only to cover inclement weather, the sun and the rain, it serves to give that football atmosphere. A covered stadium is not the same as an uncovered stadium. But to cut to the chase, stadiums have new needs for television broadcasts to be maximised.
“In the case of the Ciutat, we did not have that roof and a totally new one had to be made and it is not easy to implement a roof in an existing stadium with a ready-made structure and with little space around the stadium to provide good support. The solution in this case is a very original and technological solution. It is not common in stadiums, some have it, but in this case it is done with a special lightness because it is done using existing elements.”
Levante today (Wednesday) released a video showing the current state of work in the stadium (pictured last week). The finished article is set to rival the best in LaLiga for fan comfort, according to Azcárate. He said: “Yes, because it is a medium-sized stadium of the kind that are in the Spanish league.
“And in that range of stadiums, with all the infrastructure, the roof, and phase two, when it is completed, with the new façade… there you will have the new entrances, hospitality, new press areas, sports changing rooms. That’s when we put the icing on the cake and a very modern stadium will be rounded off.”