UEFA has published a multilingual guide which sets down the requirements for stadium design and construction, so as to assist Europe's member associations in helping raise standards.
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With football stadiums at the core of professional football, and proper quality standards essential for everyone involved in a match, UEFA has issued a special guide aimed at helping those who are engaged in the commissioning, design or (re)construction of a stadium.
The UEFA Guide to Quality Stadiums is available in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish – and the Spanish version provides a welcome innovation, in that it has been published in partnership with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) at the express request of the latter.
The objective is to present an easy-to-read set of guidelines covering all the issues related to stadium design and construction, from inception through to the opening ceremony. The guide is also fully in line with UEFA's mission to assist and encourage its 54 member national associations to help improve overall standards across Europe.
"Stadiums are at the heart of the professional game," says UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino in his welcome message. "They are where the action is played out, where the highs and lows are experienced, where history is made. Top-quality stadiums are vital to the comfort, safety and security of the spectators, players, officials, media and staff.
"As such," he adds, "our vision was to develop a comprehensive but accessible step-by-step guide to stadium design and construction that lays out the various processes and many of the issues involved."
The guide states that associations and clubs wishing to build a stadium might often lack the personnel with the relevant skills or experience to undertake a project of this nature. It emphasises that the guide is primarily geared towards those who have never before developed a football venue, or been actively connected to a design and construction project of this size and complexity, seeking to supply them with an insight into exactly what is required.
The guide's structure shows the chronological sequence of events in the process, and gives simple and concise recommendations on a comprehensive range of matters, from assembling a project team and choosing an architect, to evaluating design options and resolving legal, financial and technical issues, also understanding all stadium facilities and finally selecting a contractor and managing the works up to the opening- day ceremony. The guide also contains case studies of different-sized successful European stadiums, while a glossary carries definitions and further explanations on the various topics covered in the publication.
The partnership between UEFA and the RFEF in delivering the Spanish version is reflected in a special welcome message from the Spanish association's president and UEFA second vice-president Ángel María Villar Llona, who stresses the need for good-quality stadiums as venues which benefit both football and the local community.
"It is necessary that the stadiums meet all requirements needed to practise this wonderful sport," he says. "Compliance with these requirements is vital, both for those who play football and their spectators, and also the other actors – officials, media and club staff."
The RFEF president recognises UEFA's vast dedication to advancing European football in all its various facets, with high-standard stadiums and infrastructures a crucial element in the game's continuing development. "The Royal Spanish Football Federation is delighted to collaborate in the translation and dissemination of knowledge and experience in this guide," he concludes.