Ever since the group of North American shareholders assumed a controlling stake in RCD Mallorca six years ago, the Balearic club has been undergoing a process of stabilisation and restructuring at all levels. Following this period, Alfonso Díaz, the club’s business director, believes that “the time has now come to accelerate growth with a three-year investment plan, both for the football and the business departments”.
“We are aware that LaLiga clubs improving their facilities is a way to grow as a whole, based on,” stated Díaz, discussing the importance of infrastructure renovation. “One of our main investments in infrastructure is with the stadium, which has to be one of the pillars to make this club grow both on a sporting and a business level. We hope that the new stadium will help to generate the best atmosphere and that, in turn, this can push the team towards better sporting results and that it can generate new revenue to help us reach the next level.”
Giving the stadium a new lease of life
The redevelopment work at the Visit Mallorca Estadi, which consists of four phases and which is expected to be completed in January 2024, will bring about an almost complete change of the facility and its philosophy. The director explained: “We’re really talking about a new stadium, one with spaces that didn’t exist until now and that will give the facility a new lease of life. The capacity of the stadium is always a big talking point, but we’ve kept the number of seats very similar to what it was in the past, moving from 23,000 to 25,000 while always leaving the door open to the possibility of increasing this further in the future, even though we believe this capacity is adequate.”
The project includes the creation of a new lower tier at the level of the turf and around the entire pitch, connecting with the existing upper tiers. “This will officially remove the athletics track, which had been in disuse for several years, while we have the commitment of the Palma City Council to build a new track close to the stadium,” he added.
The fans will now be just 7.7 metres away from the pitch, compared to the distances of 23 to 45 metres that they were separated by previously. In addition, there will be a complete change of all the seats in the stadium to improve the comfort for the supporters, while a new roof will be installed on the east stand to protect around 6,000 more fans from the sun and rain. Meanwhile, the north stand will become the heart and soul of the stadium, with a new entrance behind which a new hospitality area and terrace will be built, boasting unique views of Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.
According to the RCD Mallorca business director, there will also be a restaurant at the stadium operating every day of the week. There will be a new ticketing office and new official club store too. Plus, “in the main stand there will be a new hospitality area overlooking the pitch with a concept and experience that is hard to beat on matchday”. The space created behind the new stand on the south side will be used for events and will be a place where families can enjoy the stadium and its views on a day-to-day basis. Another new feature will be the improvement to the lighting throughout the stadium, which will be brought up to the modern standard of environmentally friendly LED lighting.
Beyond all the benefits this project will bring to the club, this is also a project designed by and for the city. On this, Díaz commented: “We want the new stadium to have spaces open to the city and without a barrier preventing access. In this space, there will be squares that will be open and accessible to citizens and families: an outdoor one at street level and an indoor one at one of the ends. Both spaces can be used for multiple sports, while there will be restaurants and amenities for citizens. It should become a cultural reference point in the city, with cultural events, concerts and much more taking place.”
A matter of utmost importance for the club has been the environmental friendliness of the facility, which they want to be integrated into the city’s surroundings and be dependent on natural resources. A good example of this is seen through the two large water tanks that will collect rainwater to irrigate the pitch. Furthermore, the entire first phase of the project has consisted of reusing materials from the existing structure and of recycling the old seats.
Improving the fan experience through technology
Díaz is clear that the fan experience in the stadium should be improved by embracing technology, which is why RCD Mallorca have already started implementing a digital season ticket, eliminating the plastic card as part of their environmental responsibility efforts. Díaz continued: “We’re working to have a cashless stadium, where spectators can order food and drink through their mobile phones. Connectivity is one of our priorities so that the fan, stadium and club can interact via a customised app.”
He continued: “We’ll have new giant screens at both ends of the stadium to improve the experience and we’ll ensure it continues to get better through elements such as the Kiss Cam, new graphics and better real-time match information for the fans, so they know what is happening in the game. We will also have a new control centre from which all the technological part of the stadium will be managed.”
Finally, Díaz stressed that the stadium should become a site capable of bringing in new revenue every day of the year, so that the club “can grow and have more resources for the football area, as this will allow us to invest more in players and grassroots football”. As well as working to increase revenue on matchdays, those at the club also want to boost the volume of business across the rest of the year by improving the stadium tour experience and by hosting other business, cultural and concert events.