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BuroHappold’s Sports and Entertainment sector team is on a winning streak. Last year we completed the South Stand extension at Manchester City FC’s iconic Etihad Stadium, the first phase of a project that could ultimately increase the stadium’s capacity from 48,000 to 55,000 and beyond. This year will see us celebrate the opening of the awe-inspiring Mercedes Benz Arena in Atlanta, which boasts the world’s first operable ocular roof. And next year will see the completion of the state of the art venues for Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club and the Qatar Foundation Stadium for the FIFA World Cup.
Our work is increasingly positioning us as people who can engineer great outcomes for our clients’ businesses. We have used our extensive experience of engineering for this specialist sector to develop thought leadership pieces around repurposing venues in the Middle East, designing multipurpose sports and entertainment venues, and delivering an unrivalled spectator experience.
This thinking expands on our work positioning stadia as vehicles for urban regeneration, icons that enhance city brands and create sustainable, multidimensional businesses. Our in depth study into venue atmosphere, in particular, has been ground breaking – linking fan experience, revenue generation and the home advantage – and we are currently taking
this research further, encompassing the entire performance of the spaces in our stadia and arenas.
We have had several articles on the topic published in FC Business Magazine, and speaking at the Stadium Business Design and Development Summit, and conferences such as Soccerex, has further enhanced our reputation as thought leaders in this compelling sector.
We will leverage this unique knowledge further in the global market in 2017/2018, and have already been engaged by several premier tier sports club owners and organisations who see the potential direct benefits to their businesses.
In its second year, the Sports and Entertainment Thought Leadership programme has concluded the research phase, and begun the development of research outcomes into new service propositions.
Focusing on clients’ needs these include:
- Redeveloping their venue to transform their performance on and off the pitch
- Maximising match day, and non- match day revenue from their existing or new assets
- Providing best value construction for their redevelopment, not just lowest cost
- Maximising development opportunities with maximum speed to minimise disruption to their business
- Creating iconic and brand enhancing venues that generate the best atmosphere, with the finest field of play and maximising the home advantage.
New service propositions currently being rolled out include Venue Performance Optimisation (focusing on the field of play, seating bowl and concourses) and Transforming a Club’s Business (through engagement with a wider group of stakeholders), to inform and unlock the development of their venues.
Our Thought Leadership is founded on acquiring substantial data to inform the design dialogue between clients, consultants and users, meaning evidence can actually inform design concepts.
Detailed views using BuroHappold’s Feature Analysis Data Portal indicating noise in the stadium bowl and sightline quality, plus the overall rating of the stadium, with the Colosseum providing a benchmark for new venue targets.
BuroHappold’s Interactive Data Portal showing key variables
considered in the analysis of stadia performance. Here we
provide analysis of the Roman Colosseum.
Driving the delivery of high performance, bespoke stadia (rather than good but generic designs), different aspects of stadia are linked to assess key performance indicators such as changes in advertising revenue and the fan experience. This data driven approach informs early concept designs reducing time, cost and risk.
2017 will be seen as a significant milestone in stadium design and development, as we move away from inherited wisdom and towards evidence-based designs. We believe our clients deserve better performing venues and businesses, and our work is enabling us to provide this
Matthew Birchall Sports and Entertainment Sector Global Lead
Qatar Foundation Stadium (2022 FIFA World Cup)
Delivering a diamond-inspired stadium that will encourage social and economic development in qatar
Created for the FIFA World Cup 2022, this 40,000 seat stadium is set to be the jewel in Qatar’s architectural crown. Enclosed in an outer shell shaped to resemble a diamond, the stadium glints as it catches the sun in the daytime, and glitters under the illumination of thousands of diodes at night. Our design features an innovative bowl cooling system and pioneering cable roof structure that will deliver an exceptional spectator experience for the duration of the World Cup, and facilitate the stadium’s transformation into a sports facility for the Qatar Foundation afterwards. Our work transformed the previous design, enabling the high performance of the brief to be retained whilst reducing the cost and programme by 40%.
Etihad, Manchester City FC stadium expansion
Expanding Manchester city FC’s signature stadium so that more fans can enjoy the action
This ambitious expansion project has seen Manchester City Football Club’s famous stadium increase in capacity from 48,000 to 55,000, with the potential in future phases to reach up to 70,000. The most challenging aspect of the project for our team has been incorporating the new extension into the existing roof structure, whilst ensuring continuity of business for the club throughout.
Our engineers combined their extensive experience with use of the very latest technology to develop a design that delivered the additional capacity while working in harmony with the original vision for the stadium.
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Realising a new multipurpose stadium and revitalising the community beyond
Built on the footprint of the legendary White Hart Lane football ground, and designed by BuroHappold to be constructed while the venue remained in operation, the new Tottenham Hotspur UEFA/FIFA compliant stadium will deliver an incredible experience for football fans and perform as a multipurpose sports and entertainment arena.
Our pioneering design enables the football pitch to split three ways and slide beneath the south stand of seating, transforming the stadium from a bespoke football ground into a flexible venue that can also support NFL games, corporate events and concerts.
Engineering a pioneering retractable roof to create an iconic stadium for Atlanta
The world’s first retractable oculus roof sets this stadium apart from any another.
A brave step into unchartered design and engineering territory, this unique structure establishes a strong brand identity for the Falcons while giving fans an unforgettable experience as it cantilevers 60m into the centre of the stadium to close and open in a striking pinwheel formation. The roof also supports a 30 tonne halo scoreboard – the largest in the world – which rings the top of the stadium providing fans with a 360° view of the action, and delivering an immersive and theatrical spectator experience that encourages the highest level of crowd engagement.
Images: AMB Sports & Entertainment
Creating a world class entertainment venue for the people of the south west
We are a pivotal part of the team that will realise this 12,000 capacity, multipurpose performance venue, transforming a previously contaminated brownfield site into one of the most high value spaces in the city. The importance of the Bristol Arena cannot be underestimated in terms of its cultural value, enabling people in the south west of England to experience world class performances on their doorstep. We adopted virtual reality techniques to develop and communicate engineering solutions that help to deliver the performance of the arena spaces.