Sports Management issue 135

Page 46


Spurs’ new White Hart Lane stadium will offer a complete leisure experience

REIMAGINING STADIUMS Major sports venues are increasingly becoming leisure destinations, as operators aim for financial viability. Tom Walker looks at two major trends shaping stadium development – fan-centric technology and sustainable design


n an age of commercialised sport, stadiums

pitch will be used for NFL games as well as music

and other major venues are no longer simply

concerts, to protect the integrity of the grass surface.

a stage for the action to take place on. With

“We believe our new stadium will redefine sports and

terms such as ‘multi-use’, ‘fan-centric’ and

entertainment experiences,” says Daniel Levy, chair of

‘environmentally friendly’ peppering project

Tottenham Hotspur. “We’ve travelled to some of the best

briefs, modern sports facilities are as much

venues in the world to ensure no stone is left unturned

revenue generators as the sports that they

in order to deliver the best visitor experiences.”

hold. As a result, technology, sustainable design and

While Spurs might provide us with the perfect

improved guest services now play a crucial role in the

case study of a modern stadium, it’s not the only

design and management of major venues. Take the new White Hart Lane stadium, the future home of Tottenham Hotspur FC, currently under

venue implementing technology and sustainability. How then, are modern venues tackling the two main trends – sustainability and a fan-centric approach?

construction in North London, UK. Offering fans heated


seats with built-in USB ports, superfast broadband,


a fromagerie, microbrewery and a Michelin-starred

In the past decade, environmentally-friendly operations

restaurant, the venue is set to be more a complete

and practices have gone from a marginal concern to

leisure destination than a simple football stadium.

a major consideration in sports venue management.

As for the sport itself, the stadium will also take

Organisations – such as the Green Sports Alliance

a revolutionary approach to creating a truly multi-

(GSA) – have been set up to offer guidance and support

use venue. A natural grass pitch will sit directly

for the sector, and there is now an understanding that

above an artificial one, making it the first of its

‘sustainable stadium’ equals ‘economically efficient’.

kind to have two pitches inside the same bowl.

The trend towards sustainable building practices is

The fully retractable grass surface will be used for

encouraging construction companies and architects to

Spurs’ Premier League matches, while the artificial

look for more innovative ways to use recycled materials


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