A strategic partnership between Italian sports venue design company Sportium and Colliers REMS, which specialises in real estate management services, is working on concluding contracts for two “medium sized” football stadium projects, along with targeting other Serie A clubs.

Signed last month, the strategic partnership seeks to promote urban regeneration and social growth in Italy through the development and design of new facilities dedicated to sport.

Colliers REMS is managing the development and project/construction management activities for Sportium. The two parties intend to identify new opportunities to reinterpret public and private spaces for the development of stadia, arenas and multi-sport centres.

They also aim to offer their expertise to football clubs and sports bodies to support them in efforts to develop or redevelop venues. The Italian stadium market, especially in football, has long been criticised for having stagnated since the development undertaken for the country’s staging of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Speaking to TheStadiumBusiness.com, Simone Contasta, head of business development at Colliers International Italia, said: “The realisation that new stadiums are a necessary part in the successful transformation and improvement of any football club, ultimately a must for increasing its revenues, fan experience and service offered, is a trend, already consolidated in Europe, but slowly becoming a reality also in Italy, with a few clubs having completed or begun such a massive undertaking.

“In Italy, however, where the average age of stadium is close to 70 years, most of the time with poor infrastructure and maintenance conditions, and in the majority of the cases publicly owned, tackling a coordinated and meaningful plan of investment is neither easy or straightforward.”

Colliers REMS is a division of Canadian real estate company Colliers International, while Sportium forms part of the Progetto CMR group. Contasta believes that the joining of forces between the two companies can help clubs to cut through the red tape associated with stadium development.

He said: “As any refurbishment or new build project requires interaction with the public authorities, it is important to be able to tackle the bureaucracy and urban complexity with knowledge and credibility, providing guidance to the many stakeholders involved in any sizeable real estate project.

“Within this overall market context our partnership aims to provide just that – privileged highly specific design, consultancy and real estate management services to sporting teams, private investors and public administrations, merging the collective experience of Sportium’s highly successful design team with Colliers’ international reach and competencies in urban regeneration projects.

“The target of this strategic partnership is ultimately to support the growth of sporting teams, by delivering effective and well-integrated stadia and arenas to fans, whilst also using them as part of wider urban regeneration projects that can positively impact the social and financial wellbeing of our cities.”

In May, Cagliari agreed a deal with Sportium to deliver the final design for its new stadium, while the company, alongside Manica, is currently vying with Populous for the contract to develop a new stadium for AC Milan and Inter Milan, along with redeveloping the San Siro.

A decision is said to be imminent on the latter project, with Contasta confident that Sportium/Manica can emerge victorious. He said: “Whilst both represent a fantastic opportunity to create a world class stadium and wider urban redevelopment, the Sportium design represents in our view a true testament to this unique proposition. Two equally relevant football teams competing against each other at the highest level, yet united and perfectly balanced in this project, just like the two rings that form the design of the stadium.

“Such an approach, less monumental and probably more true to the teams and city’s history, is further reinforced by the 16,000 fans’ faces which will be filling the facade, ultimately linking it to generations of supporters.”

Looking to the future, Contasta believes the first real fruit from the new relationship could already be soon at hand. He added: “The partnership between the two companies was formalised at the end of July, however we are already working on securing contracts for two medium size football stadium opportunities.

“Whilst targeting all other remaining Serie A teams for their new stadia, we believe it is especially the smaller football divisions as well as other sporting arenas that could provide both important commercial opportunities for the partnership, as well as a wider impact on the regeneration of Italian cities.”

Image: Nuovo Stadio Milano