August 15 – Premier League Swansea City is close to taking ownership of its Liberty Stadium from the local council on a 30-year lease.
US owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan took control of the club in July 2016 and want ownership of the stadium so that they can increase the 21,088 capacity and the match day facilities.
The increased commercial opportunities would likely include a naming rights deal for the stadium.
Swansea have been playing at the council-owned facility since 2005 when the club was in League 2 and coming out of a period of financial instability. Since then it has progressed to the Premier League where it has established itself although coming close relegation for a period last season.
The club has sold out the stadium for every home league match since its arrival in the Premier League in 2011 and the feeling is that opportunities are being missed.
Sharing the stadium with Swansea’s Rugby Union club the Ospreys, the clubs pay a peppercorn fee to rent the stadium from the Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC), which was set up by the two clubs and the council to oversee the running of the facility.
Council leader Rob Stewart opened the way for a deal to be done on the Liberty Stadium earlier this year saying that the SSMC is no longer fit for purpose.
Stewart told BBC Wales: “We have had a series of very productive meetings and are getting close to a deal that works for everyone.
“I’m hopeful we can close that deal soon.”
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