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‘Stadiums are the key to the future of football’: Ajax and Eintracht cases at SFS23

The panel ‘Managing large venues for now and the future’ closed the first morning of the sixth edition of the Social Football Summit. The talk focused on the topic of stadiums and their role for the future of football, moderated by Ivan Ortenzi.

Patrik Meyer, stadium administrator of Eintracht Frankfurt, gave his view of the German reality: ‘With the 2006 World Cup we transformed almost all stadiums. It was a key factor in improving the experience for all fans. The beginning of the 2000s allowed us to complete a series of works, the World Cup helped us, as did the Women’s World Cup in 2011. The facilities, also through events, concerts, are essential to maximise profits’.

Andrea Santini, head of the Olympic Stadium and the Foro Italico Park for Sport and Health, described what is happening with the capital’s facility: ‘We are using technological options to integrate the fan experience. This year we are also learning with Roma and Lazio. I also confirm what Meyer said: it is essential to work with non-sporting events, which can also be useful for football clubs’.

Henk Markerink, Administrator of the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, finally explained: ‘Our stadiums are obviously profitable. In the last fifteen years we have invested more than 90 million on our stadium. The initial investment must not be too expensive, otherwise there can never be the right return.