Our leisure choices have never been greater. More concerts, more sports games, more festivals, more fun. Therefore, to invest in a major stadium project, clients must be certain of a sizeable return in their investment.

Buro Happold will ensure that this aim is met, through meeting the needs of every stakeholder – fans, performers, players, operators and owners.

Our specialist people flow modelling team will study footfall, building in dynamic freeflow of people through the stadium, as well as ensuring safety at every stage. Lowering operating costs and minimising carbon footprint are always considered in every project, whatever the environment or local conditions.

We are not just engineers, we are also spectators. We appreciate that good stadium design is not just the nuts and bolts, it is about creating a buzz or a feeling.

That’s why we pioneered research into how stadium design can generate atmosphere inside a sports arena. We know that the right atmosphere delivers not only an unrivalled spectator experience, but also boosts ticket sales, increases advertising and sponsorship spend and attracts more lucrative media deals.

Flexibility is key to success. At Tottenham Hotspur Football Club our engineers helped create a football pitch that splits three ways, transforming the pitch into a multi-use venue and creating additional revenue streams. We have met complex structural challenges like the oculus moving roof on the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, as well as delivered within a tight footprint with the Aviva Stadium on the Lansdowne Road Site in Dublin.

Whatever the challenge, as a multi-disciplinary firm, we have the expertise and experience to meet it.

Our sport and entertainment services

  • Stadium and arena engineering design
  • Elite and community sports training facility engineering design
  • Repurposing and refurbishing of existing venues
  • Masterplanning and Infrastructure design
  • Economic viability and business case support
  • Lead consultancy project development and management
  • Asset management and venue operation advice
  • Leisure and Training Facilities
  • Football ground expansion

In focus

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 expert

Venue Performance Rating

Venue Performance Rating, or VPR for short, is Buro Happold’s metric for assessing and enhancing exactly what the design of a stadium delivers for fans, players and club owners. VPR allows enables deep performance assessments and comparisons of existing stadia, to truly establish performance in relation to revenue, results and reputation. It also makes predictive modelling possible, allowing the comparison of multiple options/features within an individual stadium or with other stadia.

The rating system is the product over over 20 years experience in stadium design and engineering. The possibilities it opens up to club owners are exciting and rewarding. By working with us in the early stages we’re able offer combined venue performance optimisation and a full engineering service.

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Project Highlights

world cup stadium design quatar burohappold engineering

Delivering a diamond-inspired stadium that will encourage social and economic development in Qatar

Education City Stadium (Qatar Foundation Stadium)

Created for the FIFA World Cup 2022, this 40,000 seat stadium is set to complete this year. Enclosed in an outer shell shaped to resemble a diamond, the stadium glints as it catches the sun, 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. Our work transformed the previous programme of design, enabling the high performance of the brief to be retained whilst substantially reducing the cost.

A cricket game at Lord's, redeveloped stands full of cheering crowds

Creating a spectacular new home for cricket

Compton and Edrich Stands, Lord’s Cricket Ground

Lord’s is the historic and spiritual home of cricket and occupies a large site in a prime residential area of London. Buro Happold is in the early stages of redeveloping two stands at the Nursery End of the Ground – the Compton and Edrich stands. The new three-tier stands will seat around 11,500 members of the public, with a walkway linking both stands.

The lower tier has approximately 6,600 seats, the hospitality level on the middle tier, 2,385 seats and the upper tier, 3,765 seats. Three per cent of all seating will be for wheelchair users or those with restricted mobility, and unlike the current stands, the top tier of the new stands will be partially covered.

inside tottenham hotspur new stadium wide angle

Realising a new multipurpose stadium and revitalising the community beyond

Tottenham Hotspur FC

The new stadium will increase spectator capacity from 36,240 to 62,062 and provide Tottenham Hotspur FC with state of the art facilities designed to support football matches, NFL games, music concerts, and private events such as conferences and banquets. 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.

Read more about these projects in our sector brochure

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