Discussions between Swansea Council and Swansea City about the future running of the Liberty Stadium have now concluded.
Subject to the approval of cabinet at the council later this month, the agreement would see the Swans taking over full operational control of the stadium.
The council-owned stadium, which was built in 2005, is currently run by a tripartite agreement between the council, the Swans and the Ospreys – all of whom have representation through the mutually controlled Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC).
As part of the new agreement, the football club would have sole control of SSMC and the stadium moving forward. The agreement would also:
- Allow the council to begin receiving direct revenue from the stadium for the first time ever through guaranteed rental payments
- Give the Swans the ability to control its own destiny and stay competitive with other Premier League clubs by tapping into new revenue streams at the stadium
- Allow the Ospreys to continue playing at the stadium on a long-term lease
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said:
“The new agreement is beneficial to all parties – the council, the Swans and the Ospreys. We believe it strikes the right balance between the needs of the council and the needs of the sports clubs to further develop, helping build on their fantastic achievements over the last decade or so.
“For the first time ever, the council would receive guaranteed rental income from the stadium, which represents a fair return for taxpayers. The council would also get a share of any stadium naming rights revenue in future.”
Chris Pearlman, Swansea City’s Chief Operating Officer, who has been central to the negotiations, says the new deal would put the club firmly in control of its own destiny on and off the pitch.
“We’ve always looked at the big picture. Under the old agreement, Swansea City did not see any direct revenue from the Liberty Stadium’s operations. The new agreement would allow us to be more active in exploring the likes of stadium expansion, naming rights, sponsorship, catering revenue and enhancing supporters’ matchday experiences.”
A unique component of the new arrangement will be a commitment by the football club to fund the construction of a number of new 3G pitches throughout Swansea in coming years.
Mr Pearlman said:
“As part of the broader conversations around the future of the stadium and the football club’s role in the city, we began to explore with Swansea Council other ways Swansea City can help the community.
“With the help of Council Leader Rob Stewart, we identified a scarcity of all-weather pitches throughout Swansea. Together we agreed that, beyond the fixed economics of our new lease arrangement, the football club would make an additional commitment in the form of 3G pitches. We are committed to fund the construction of two 3G pitches every five years that the public will have access to.”
Cabinet at Swansea Council will meet on Thursday November 16 to consider approving the new deal, along with a land swap proposal that would facilitate plans to expand the Liberty Stadium in future.
Cllr Stewart said:
“We are wholly supportive of Swansea City’s plans to expand the stadium, which will help the club generate more income and maintain Premier League status.”
Mr Pearlman concluded:
“We would like to thank Swansea Council and the Ospreys for their cooperation throughout this process.”