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Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 1)

May 23, 2024

Master Football Business

The humble football stadium which began as a location for community games way back in 1892, has traveled a long distance. Today it is one of the three most important revenue generating source of a football club. In this two part series, we will take a look at the stadium ecosystem, from its revenue generating potential to its future as a fan experience pillar

Matchday Revenues

Matchday revenues contributes nearly 13% of the total revenues. According to the UEFA Club Licensing report, in 2022, it contributed €3.1bn across top-division European leagues. Deep diving in the matchday revenue financials, some interesting insights:

  • Early reporting indicates €3.8bn+ matchday revenues across top division European leagues in 2023, up by €700mn over 2022
  • Top 20 revenue generating clubs contributed 48% or approx. €1.85bn in the pie
  • Big 5 leagues contributed 70% of total European gate revenues in 2022
  • Average per club matchday revenue is the highest in Premier League & over 2X that of LALIGA

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 1) - SBI Barcelona

Contribution to Total Revenues

According to the Deloitte UK Annual Review of Football Finance, the 2021/22 season saw European football begin its recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with restrictions on match-going fans easing across the continent as the season progressed. The return of fans to stadia resulted in a significant improvement in matchday revenues which contributed to the total revenues as per below data

  • Premier League: 14%
  • LALIGA: 12%
  • Bundesliga: 9%
  • Serie A: 10%
  • Ligue 1: 11%

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 1) - SBI Barcelona

In 22/23 season, this significantly improved in Bundesliga as the contribution jumped to 12%. The dependence on matchday revenues decrease as we move up the tier in English football. While it contributes 31% in EFL League One, matchday revenue contribution decreases to 19% in case of EFL Championship and 14% in case of Premier league

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 1) - SBI Barcelona

Top 20 Revenue Generating Clubs

The fact that a good stadium infrastructure leads to higher revenues can be gauged by looking at the matchday revenues generated by the top 20 clubs. As per Deloitte Money League Report 2024, matchday revenues contributed 18% of the total revenue generated by the top 20 clubs. Further, when we look at the approximate matchday revenue per spectator (considering home games in the top domestic and European leagues), we get some interesting insights

  • PSG generates highest revenue at €144 per spectator followed by FC Barcelona at €105 & Tottenham at €95
  • Lowest are West Ham at €33, AC Milan at €35, Napoli at €39 and Inter Milan at €40
  • BVB has the highest audiences but generates one of the lowest revenue per spectator at €44

Stadium: Where the Action Begins (Part 1) - SBI Barcelona

Conclusion

Stadiums are not just an important area as a place to play for the club but it also serves as a strong feature in the city’s ecosystem as a tourist destination. As a context, the “Football Tourism in the UK” report by national tourism agency VisitBritain shows that there were 1.5million visits to the UK alone in 2019 which included watching a live football match. Overseas visitors who came to the UK in 2019 and watched a football match spent £1.4billion in total during their trips

Stadiums can truly be called the place where the action begins…

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