Club León granted security with stadium deal

Grupo Pachuca, parent company of Club León, has acquired Estadio León stating the deal provides certainty for the Liga MX football team amid continued efforts to develop a new home.

Estadio León has been the club’s home since it opened in March 1967, but has been owned since the 1990s by Roberto Zermeño, a former president of the team. In 2000, Zermeño reached an agreement with the Municipality of León through which it would manage the stadium for 10 years before it reverted to become his property.

However, this agreement collapsed in 2008 beginning a series of legal proceedings that ended in October 2020 with Zermeño securing control of the stadium. This was set to see Club León move to play in the city of Aguascalientes, before the deal between Grupo Pachuca and Zermeño was announced yesterday (Thursday).

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Grupo Pachuca said the agreement guarantees that the club will now not leave León.

A statement read: “It is an important economic effort, it is added to the investment that the group is making in the sports consolidation of the team with the construction of La Esmeralda and other projects aimed at developing the talent and progress of León’s youth through sports and education, propping up the growth of the institution as one of the most solid in Mexican football.”

In September 2018, Club León presented details of a new 35,000-seat stadium as part of a mixed-use development planned by Grupo Pachuca. Manhattan International Construction Company and architectural firm HKS won a tender process to develop Nuevo Estadio León, which is due to comprise three phases.

Phase one will encompass development of the stadium. Phase two will involve the development of a 300-room hotel attached to the stadium, along with retail stores and a public gym. The final phase will lead to the construction of a football university, as well as a specialised medical clinic.

The project has stalled of late, but Grupo Pachuca believes owning the club’s current home will provide certainty for its long-term future. The statement continued: “The acquisition of the Estadio León will allow the Club to face the Nuevo Estadio León project without worries, knowing that the team today has its own house in which to play, share and compete during the time that the construction of the new headquarters lasts.

“If it (the deal) had not been closed this operation, and the continuity of the team in the city, would have been seriously compromised.”

Grupo Pachuca added that owners of corporate boxes will also be the beneficiaries of a financial plan allowing them to acquire similar locations in the new stadium.

Image: PabloBWV/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size