Estudiantes enhances multi-purpose vision with stadium co-working space

Argentine Primera División football club Estudiantes has furthered its mission of making its stadium a multi-purpose facility utilised beyond matchdays by opening up a co-working space.

One of the first examples of its kind in Latin America, and the first in Argentina, Work Club Estudiantes is located within Estadio Uno, the club’s home in the city of La Plata that is otherwise known as Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi.

Designed and managed by sports and fitness chain SportClub and sports marketing agency Experiencia Fútbol, Estudiantes’ strategic partners for the commercial development of the stadium, Work Club opened its doors earlier this month.

Exclusively available to Estudiantes and SportClub members, plus the team’s season ticket and corporate box holders, Work Club offers meeting rooms and co-working stations with views of the Estadio Uno pitch.

Jerónimo Dusserre, general manager of Experiencia Fútbol, told TheStadiumBusiness.com: “Aligned with the vision and strategy between Estudiantes and Experiencia Fútbol to develop Estadio Uno commercial revenues and different income resources, we studied and analysed alternatives to emulate what is being done in the best stadiums in the world.

“We came to the conclusion that implementing a good co-working space was the best option, especially considering the pandemic and post-pandemic context in which we believe that there will be a transition of companies moving towards flexible workspaces.

“Other examples of co-working spaces in football stadiums are Twickenham and Tottenham (Hotspur Stadium) in the UK, Real Madrid’s new Santiago Bernabéu project in Spain and Allianz Parque in (São Paulo) Brazil.”

The Work Club operates from 8am to 8pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays, with the facilities designed to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. Dusserre believes the facility gives Estudiantes fans another way to connect with their club, following the long spell the team spent away from its home stadium.

Estudiantes returned to Estadio Uno in November 2019 following a major redevelopment that saw it reopen with a 30,000 capacity. Prior to that point, Estudiantes played its last game at the stadium in August 2005 before it was closed due to safety concerns.

Commenting on the response to Work Club, Dusserre said: “We are very satisfied with the first reactions and impressions, both on social media and in our customer service channels. Booking requests were high from day one and there are already meeting rooms booked for April and May.

“Estudiantes fans are our main clients. Imagine not having a club’s own stadium for 14 years, and now having the possibility of working and growing your own business from inside the stadium, staring at the football pitch a few metres away. That’s a huge impact.

“Until now, there has been a wide variety of people interested in our services, from independent entrepreneurs looking for a flexible workplace, to small businesses looking for a different environment for their work teams.”

Work Club offers the hiring of one of its three meeting rooms at a price of ARS$800 (£6/€7/$9) per hour. Positions in the co-working area can be rented for ARS$400 per day, rising to ARS$3,200 and ARS$7,500, respectively, for 10-day or monthly packages.

In order to better utilise Estadio Uno, Estudiantes has already opened León Bar Bistro, a restaurant located only a few metres away from the pitch, and Paseo de los Profesores, another dining space that offers a range of options throughout the day. In the coming months, SportClub is set to open a new gym at the stadium.

Dusserre added: “We are aiming for Estadio Uno to have activities and be creating income not only on the 15 days when the first team plays home games, but all 365 days of the year. We have the objective of offering Estudiantes fans the possibility of being able to eat, train and work in the stadium – a community concept.

“We hope to plan and implement other projects in the short term, keeping the vision of Estadio Uno leading the way towards modern business models in Latin American stadiums/venues.”

Images: Estudiantes/Experiencia Fútbol