The Mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, has confirmed that the City Council is willing to accept Real Zaragoza’s demands for a long-term concession deal as a basis to develop a new stadium on the site of the existing Estadio La Romareda.
The Segunda Division football club is targeting a concession deal for operating rights of up to 75 years, with a study conducted by the University of Zaragoza backing up its argument that in order for investment in a new stadium to be recovered, a contract of up to 75 years would be necessary, instead of the initially chosen 50-year deal.
The proposal will now be voted on at a meeting on February 1, with Azcón highlighting the importance of the “independent” report from the University, which “proves” that the economic exploitation of the new Romareda “is greater than originally thought and could last up to 75 years”.
“I think there will not be that many, in the end there will be fewer, around 70 years,” Azcón said, according to local newspaper Heraldo de Aragón. “Whatever has to do with the term will be decided in a public tender. The term must be adequate for private investors to pay, and the specifications will establish it.”
Zaragoza City Council in July voted in favour of proceeding with efforts to draw up plans for a new stadium on the site of La Romareda. The proposal is with an eye towards La Romareda becoming a host venue under Spain’s joint bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup with Portugal. Earlier in the month, La Romareda was included on a 15-venue shortlist revealed by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
Eleven venues in Spain will ultimately be used if the joint bid is successful. A further three stadiums will be used in Portugal. A new Zaragoza stadium will reportedly require investment of between €120m (£105.3/$130.1m) and €140m, with the project now said to be in the draft phase at Spanish consulting, engineering and architecture company IDOM.
Azcón added: “The new Romareda can be built with private investment without costing the people of Zaragoza a euro and there must be a sensible and profitable exploitation plan. We are going to work until the last day because the goal is for Zaragoza to be a host of the 2030 World Cup.”
With a current capacity of around 33,600, La Romareda first opened in 1957 and hosted three games during Spain’s staging of the 1982 World Cup. The stadium is owned by the Council.