Real Betis gears up for stadium revamp



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Real Betis future plans Image: Real Betis

Real Betis has recently opened the new Rafael Gordillo Sports City training complex and will soon undertake redevelopment of its Benito Villamarín Stadium.

El Pais said the new sports city consists of 11 training fields and an office building on a 20-hectare plot of land in the municipality of Dos Hermanas, adjacent to Seville. There are further expansions plans.

And at the end of this season, the transformation of the Benito Villamarín Stadium will begin.

The Benito Villamarín Stadium is a stadium in Seville, Spain, and the home of Real Betis since its completion in 1929. It has a capacity of 60,379.

The new infrastructure that Real Betis is working on is part of an ambitious growth plan in which LaLiga Impulso, a project to improve the commercial outlook of Spanish football clubs, will invest approximately €60 million.

Real Betis future plansImage: Real Betis

The budget to remodel the stadium and complete the sports city is divided equally with €30 million allocated to each project. Work will continue until 2027, according to the club’s forecasts. At the moment, only the first phase of the Rafael Gordillo Sports City has been launched.

The remodelling of the Benito Villamarín is the next step in the Real Betis plan.

Ramón Alarcón, executive director of the club, said, “A stadium is what most represents a club after the badge and the colours. They are the cathedrals of the 21st century.”

The club awarded the stadium design to Cordoban architect Rafael De La-Hoz and the American studio Gensler.

“We wanted an open space, a skin that breathed, and they have captured it in the cover that surrounds the four stands, which represents the 13 bars of the shield,” explains Alarcón.

The new venue will maintain its current capacity of 60,379 spectators. Work will begin in January 2025, when the work on the Cartuja stadium is completed, allowing Real Betis to move there while works are carried out.

The Preference stand will be demolished and will be the only one that will be built from scratch to expand the number of premium seats, those that generate the most profit, to 4,023 with the aim of tripling its income to €8-9 million, according to Alarcón.

El Pais further stated that the new stadium will have improved catering facilities and include a space with capacity for 400 people for business events and conventions and the Real Betis museum.

The objective, as Alarcón says, is to develop pre-match, match and post-match strategies to increase profits. “Currently we are generating about €30 million, and we hope to reach €50 million.”

The stadium will also be sustainable: it will be self-sufficient with solar panels and will store rainwater in an underground tank that will be used to water the grass. And to raise awareness among its fans, the club will promote shared mobility and the use of electric vehicles.

Real Betis’ forecasts indicate that the remodelling of the stadium will be paid for with the income it generates in about six or seven years, the period to recover the investment of LaLiga Impulso.

For Alarcón, a businessman, the main contribution of the scheme, in addition to the monetary one, has been the change in mentality among the managers of Spanish professional football.

“It has shown the importance of investing in technological resources, but also human resources. In a sector in crisis, we have changed the word dismissal to hiring and we are not not focusing only on what happens on the pitch.”

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