We combine cutting-edge technology with over 20 years of venue design expertise to show clients how a stadium will perform, even before its built

Venue Performance Rating

Our venue design consultants used their world-class experience to help develop the “Venue Performance Rating system” (VPR). First appearing in Brand Finance’s ‘Football 50’ 2019 Annual, the rating system formed part of a brand assessment for the largest 50 clubs in Europe.

The aim has always been to introduce ‘stadium science’, inspired by how sports science has transformed the way in which clubs (and fans, and scouts, and agents) appraise players.

Services we offer


  • Deep assessment of existing stadia
  • Predictive modelling to aid decision making
  • Combined venue performance optimisation and full engineering service

This journey has continued, with the inclusion of more data, such as geospatial information and sentiment analysis. Furthermore, we have created 3D models of more than 70 stadium seating bowls to improve our acoustic assessments and to allow the introduction of metrics like spectator density.

Sports science has revolutionised how we rate and improve player performance. A parallel approach to stadium design will enable clubs to get the best out of their key asset.

Andrew Pottinger, Venue Performance Consultant

There are a number of rating systems out there, the UEFA category system is one of the best known; and in England there are the multiple leagues generated by the92.net.

Our goal has been to create something in a similar vein, but structured in a way that it can help owners and chief executives make informed decisions on the future infrastructure associated with their club.

The key features of the VPR are as follows:

  • It allows fans, players, owners, etc. to understand where a stadium sits amongst its rivals.
  • It enables a capability for deep performance assessments of existing stadia, to truly establish their performance in relation to revenue, results and reputation.
  • It enables a capability for predictive modelling, allowing us to compare multiple options/futures (with each other and with existing stadia).

VPR is broken into three primary league tables, Experience, Revenue and Impact.  Even when viewed from a purely financial perspective, it is still important to recognise the potential benefits to future revenue gained from a high experience and impact performance; for example, through higher attendances, strong fan engagement and better performance on the pitch. The graphic below shows the VPR wheel.

This illustrates how the Experience, Revenue and Impact scores are generated, the value in the corner of each metric is a default weighting and this is very significant for two reasons:

  • The default weightings are there to generate our tables – the brand-focused tables, published yearly with Brand Finance, and the overall tables, published yearly on the Buro Happold website. The premium version of the tool allows Clients to adjust every single weighting, based on their club and their preferences.
  • The premium version of the tool also allows clients to unlock metrics with a zero weighting and feed them into the modelling of possible futures.  Sustainability and Concourse Experience are two very important examples of this.

There are currently 12 league tables. Three divisions for overall VPR and three divisions for each of Experience, Revenue and Impact. Let’s consider each rating in turn.

Experience Rating

Scores the potential influence of the stadium and its surroundings on the experience of a typical fan on a match-day, rather than the team.

Revenue Rating

Scores the revenue generating potential of the stadium (match-day, commercial and broadcasting)

Impact Rating

Scores the potential influence of the stadium on what happens on the pitch – i.e. how can the stadium facilitate the 12th player effect?

Overall Rating

The Overall tables score the all-round performance of the stadium

We welcome everyone’s opinions on the current weightings. Not only because it’s interesting to us, but because we will tweak the weightings for the 2021 tables to reflect the feedback we receive. Football is about opinions and so are stadia.

It is not intended to be perfect, it is intended to help us take stadium design to new levels.

Maintaining performance in challenging times

Covid-19 had a sudden and dramatic impact on venues around the world. With many football clubs and venue operators trying to understand how to maintain revenue levels and provide a safe, enjoyable atmosphere.

Our venue performance experts can draw on decades of experience and help you provide a safe and lively atmosphere for fans, while maintaining a vital revenue stream to ensure the future of sporting venues.

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