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Features

2023 in review – September

Featured image credit: AC Milan

September was a significant month for two of European football’s heavyweights, as AC Milan announced for the first time that it was pursuing a new stadium project and Real Madrid debuted a new retractable roof at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Milan said that it had “completed the first formal step” regarding the potential future submission of a full project plan by presenting to the San Donato Milanese council an urban development proposal for the San Francesco area.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, debuted the new roof at the Bernabéu on September 2 as the club’s first home match of the season ended with a 2-1 win over Getafe.

Real Madrid had to play the first three LaLiga matches of the season away from home as work on the Bernabéu was carried out. The stadium is undergoing a major renovation project, with the work set to be wrapped up later this month.

In other news, Buckingham Group Contracting, the business that had been leading the redevelopment of Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, formally entered administration, resulting in hundreds of redundancies.

Buckingham had earlier filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators due to losses on venue projects. Rob Parker, Jon Roden and Kevin Coates of Grant Thornton UK were appointed joint administrators of the company.

Liverpool later confirmed the appointment of Rayner Rowen Construction to deliver the final stages of building work for the Anfield Road Stand project. The Anfield Road Stand would eventually open for the first time for Liverpool’s match against Manchester United in December.

In other news, the New England Patriots NFL team marked the conclusion of Gillette Stadium’s $250m (£196m/€228m) North End renovation project.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft hailed the completion of the project as transformational for the fan experience. The project was the largest since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 and included a new 22-storey structure with a 360-degree observation deck.

Elsewhere, Endeavor and WWE closed a deal to bring the sports entertainment property and the UFC mixed martial arts event organiser under the TKO Holdings umbrella.

Endeavor has a 51% shareholding in the new publicly listed entity, which will act as an umbrella for the properties, with WWE holding the remaining 49% stake.