Italian Serie B football club Cagliari has further advanced plans for its new stadium by agreeing deals for hotel and wellness centre components with Accor and the Snow Group, respectively.
Cagliari said the deals mark “another decisive step” in the project, together with the advancing administrative process which will see the venture’s arrival in the City Council for the confirmation of public interest status and the consequent convening of the decision-making Conference of Services.
The partnerships with Accor and Snow Group are included among the revenue streams of the new stadium. “We are happy to announce the agreements with these two leading international companies in their sectors,” said Cagliari’s business and media director, Stefano Melis.
“For us it is a source of great pride, as well as a tangible demonstration of the great commitment that the club places in the project for the new stadium in Cagliari. In addition to the undoubted prestige, this guarantees us the skills and vision necessary to make the stadium a quality reference point, liveable every day for citizens and tourists.”
The hotel will open under the Mövenpick brand of French hospitality group Accor, connected to a congress centre which seeks to enhance the city’s ‘MICE’ offering. It will have 122 rooms, most of which have a view of the sea or the football field, plus a rooftop bar and restaurant offering with a swimming pool and a view of the Cagliari coast and football pitch.
Mattias Innocenti, senior director of development in Southern Europe for Accor, said: “We are very proud that a Mövenpick hotel is part of this very important project and that it will become one of the first hotels inside a stadium in Italy. The strategic position and the excellent restaurant offer, characteristic of the brand, will make this structure a point of reference in the city.”
The wellness project will come to life through an agreement that Cagliari and project partner Costim have signed with Italian firm bbspa_Group and French company Snow Group. This calls for a new concept of an ‘Urban Destination SPA’ for the whole city, opening wellness for use not only at the weekend, but on a daily basis.
The bbspa_Group has worked on the study and design of a spa of about 4,000 square metres, which is “planted on football ground but has its roots in the DNA of Sardinia”. Snow Group Italia, the local branch of the French parent company which manages over 60 spas across Europe, will operate the venue at Cagliari’s stadium.
Régis Boudon Doris, CEO of bbspa_Group, said: “The biggest challenge was to come up with an innovative and functional concept at the same time, which would find space in an anomalous context for a spa, and which draws the competitive and performing spirit from the football soul.
“Our ‘local’ approach has seen us engaged in an in-depth study of Sardinian culture and traditions, which has allowed us to devise a unique concept in the world that I consider successful since we have been chosen as partners for the realisation of the project.
“The future ‘Urban Destination SPA’, in fact, will be a well-being experience strongly imbued with the DNA of Sardinia, and will allow the secrets of well-being of this land to be known to the whole world, i.e. sacredness and longevity.”
The Regional Council of Sardinia last month gave the green light to provide €50m (£44.2m/$53.4m) in funding towards the new stadium. The funding will be allocated over four years, with an initial €3m to be provided in 2023. A further €15m will be provided in 2024, €12m in 2025, and €20m in 2026.
It is hoped the stadium, which will have an initial capacity of 25,000, will be delivered in time for the 2025-26 season. There are also plans to propose the stadium as a host venue as part of Italy’s bid to stage the 2032 UEFA European Championship.
Cagliari finalised plans for its new stadium last summer, with the venue to be built on the site of the old Stadio Sant’Elia. The club has been playing at the temporary Sardegna Arena since the 2017-18 season after the Sant’Elia was closed with a view to being demolished and completely rebuilt.
Cagliari was relegated from Serie A last season and currently sits eighth in the second division.