In a press conference with the presence of those responsible for the project, the club defended that it is an economically viable operation as has been demanded from the Generalitat, which has covered the cost of 115 million thanks to the eighty who have already started receiving for the agreement between LaLiga and the CVC fundand which represents seventy percent of the project, which is joined by two offers linked by the tertiary sector and an office tower.
The club assured that has two bridging loans of two financial entities, fifteen million each, which could arrive as of 2024, and recalled that once the works begin it will be easier to sell the plot of the current Mestalla, which will allow a better financial situation.
In addition, he assured that, although the agreement with the administrations was immediate, the change of stadium could not take place before the summer of 2025, but that once the works start, they maintain a term of up to twenty-two months for its conclusion.
In a meeting with the media that took place in the same unfinished stadium, the architect Mark Fenwick He insisted that it is a stadium with 70,000 spectators and that the initial capacity is only an approach to benefit the club and not offer a bad image.
“That is a capacity for a Champions League final or a World Cup semifinal. The big mistake of a stadium is that the capacity is excessive. There is nothing worse than an empty or half empty stadium. We are going to start with 49,000 and then be able to climb easily in a couple of months,” he said.
The club’s director of operations, Christian Schneider, estimated the cost of going from almost 50,000 locations to 70,000 at six or seven million and insisted that it is only a strategic decision at the image level. He did not justify why those seats are not already installed and the closure of the upper ring with tarpaulins is maintained as planned, but he said that it could be increased if there is demand or in specific situations such as being the second venue for the 2030 World Cup.
“The average attendance at Mestalla in the last decade has been 35,000 and having a half-empty stadium does not help. The LaLiga regulations and television penalize when there are gaps in the camera shot,” he said.
Both explained that the project has a new “extremely light” roof at a cost of between 30 and 35 million that is included in the budget and that later a ‘farm’ of solar panels will be installed on it that will draw a huge bat, a symbol of the club and the city.
Schneider said that they want the stadium to have daily use and that the terraces of the intermediate ring will help, some with access to the street and others with a view of the field of play and both explained that the current security and mobility conditions make it unfeasible to put 3,500 cars in the basement of the enclosure as planned at the time and four or five hundred parking spaces are proposed.
Inma Ibáñez, financial director of the club, said that the only required guarantees, of 1.2 million, were already presented in 2015 and that what they have transferred to the administrations is an economically viable project. “I agree with the concern of the administrations with the financing of the stadium, but we have financing to start it and to finish it,” she assured.
Ibáñez referred to the eighty million from the CVC fund and the offers for the tertiary and the office tower, which he acknowledged are linked in the first case to the construction license and the continuity of the ATE and in the second to the calendar. That would cover one hundred percent of the project. He reiterated that there is an agreement for two bridging loans, conditioned in at least one of the cases to the continuation of the ATE, in order to have thirty million more available to face possible adversities and that they could also sell some assets if necessary.
Sean Baigeneral director of the club, stated that it is “a very exciting project for the club, the city and the Community” and predicted that it will be “a catalyst for the economy.”