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PAST PRESENT FUTURE Defining the next generation of stadiums

A publication by Supplement: COX




Cox Architecture

Cover story


Past, present, future

The future of cricket


FOREWORD Cox Architecture originated in 1962 as a partnership between Philip Cox and Ian McKay. Their first buildings drew inspiration from the Australian farm and industrial vernacular and were widely regarded as the emergence of the first genuinely Australian contemporary architecture.

Alastair Richardson, Director, Cox Architecture 10

The Asian century Russell Lee, Director, Cox Architecture


Personalised venue technology Same place, same time


Cox Architecture venues at a glance


A Player’s perspective Stuart Clark, former Australian cricketer and World Cup Champion Alastair Baxter, Architect, Cox Architecture


Design Technology Joachim Clauss, Associate, Cox Architecture


Pavilions for the experience economy


Venue Technology Josh Beaudoin, Associate Principal, WJHW

Sporting Venues are symbols of cities and represent a new cultural, environmental and economic dynamic. They have become primary drivers of social, economic and urban change. Cox Architecture is engaged at all levels to ensure that the highest outcomes are achieved both on and off the field. COX architecture has grown to become one of Australia’s largest and most successful practices with hundreds of projects and awards. Responsible for the design of many of Australia’s and Asia’s major sport and recreation facilities including AAMI Park in Melbourne and Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Cox Architecture is establishing a strong reputation of innovative and cost effective sporting facilities. Our aim is to optimise value to our clients by exploring how any given project can extend beyond its brief to deliver unforeseen benefits. Our process of studying closely what already exists in context, and of exploring ways to enrich and invigorate, leads to diverse solutions rather than to a particular style. Working across the globe on projects of international significance, Cox Architecture draws on its history and achievements as a practice as well as the constant renewal of its professional outlooks and ambitions to deliver and foster design excellence across a range of typologies, with many of our directors and associates regarded as experts in their fields. Our projects continue to demonstrate our dedication to research and development as well as our ability to work with our clients to deliver successful design solutions on time and budget. Since 1984, when Phillip Cox was awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, Cox Architecture has continued to deliver exemplary architecture and interior design that delivers a market focused solution and reflects the culture of its city, region and community. Imprint

Philip Cox, Director at Cox Architecture


Publisher: MJR Communication Group W.L.L. P.O. Box 24704, The Palm Tower, West Bay Tower B, 6th floor, Office 606.,

Cover story


PAST PRESENT FUTURE Cox Architecture has been at the forefront of sports facilities design for 5 decades. Delivering innovative and timeless solutions in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. During that time it has established a reputation for innovative and cost effective sports design. The numerous awards the firm has received throughout the years is evidence of its success. Here is an overview of the practice and where its headed. The firm’s more notable sporting structures in its local market include key facilities for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games such as the Sydney Aquatic and Athletics Centres, the RAS Show Ring ( Baseball and Pentathlon) plus the Allphones Arena (Gymnastics and Basketball). Prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Australian Bicentenary was another major catalyst for public projects in Australia and as part of the celebrations the Sydney office of Cox Architecure, was commissioned to design five major buildings. Three of these projects formed part of the Darling Harbour redevelopment scheme and the remaining two were major sporting venues - the Sydney Football Stadium at Moore Park which has a spectator capacity of 40,000 and the National Tennis Centre in Melbourne which is one of only four “grand slam” tennis venues in the world. Both projects are more than just sporting venues - the National Tennis Centre with its retractable steel roof provides for both national and international tennis competitions and large scale concerts and functions. The Sydney Football Stadium is also an exclusive private club providing members with a pool, gym, tennis courts and restaurant facilities. Over the past two decades the practice has had a steadily increasing international presence. Such projects include the Main Stadium and Aquatic facilities for the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, the Shenzhen Aquatic Competition Centre, Qingdao Olympic Sailing

Bruce Stadium, Canberra, Australia

Bruce Stadium Designed as Australia’s National Athletic Centre, it was completed for the 1977 Pan Pacific Games. Cox Architecture has maintained a close involvement, upgrading the facility in 1985 and undertaking major redevelopment to convert it permanently from a 16,000 seat facility into a 25,000 seat stadium for soccer and rugby. This project with a tight budget of $27 million was delivered within the proposed time frame Nestled in the hills of Canberra adjacent to the Australian Institute for Sport, the facility drew heavily on its landscape setting. The sinuous earth berms provide its form under the expansive sky. Inspiration came from Frei Otto’s Olympic complex at Munich, in the way that the buildings were sutured with the landscape and the earth forms were used to assist in directing the flow of crowds around the site. Though it was a small stadium in comparison with other facilities, it created a great sense of place and importance. Innovation extended throughout the venue, encapsulating all elements. Even the way finding system was more than an add-on. Its super graphics and sculptural directional arrows provided colour and an element of art to the project.



Cover story: past, present, future

Sydney Aquatic Centre

Centre, the redevelopment of Khalifa Stadium and the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, New Zealand. Along the way there has been a number of milestones for the firm. Four that had considerable influence not just for the practice but for the design of sports venues generally are Bruce Stadium, the Sydney Football Stadium, the Sydney Aquatic Centre and Following initial feasibility studies, Cox the recent AAMI Park. teamed with PTW Architects to design the facility. Whilst the venue needed only to house the key aquatic competition facilities, consideration was given to its economic sustainability. A brief was developed that established a core for the competition part of the venue with leisure facilities that would satisfy community needs and generate the revenues required to maintain it. This could then be easily expanded to accommodate the elite competition and spectator requirements needed for the Olympics. The design provided for 2 major spaces split by the entry. The competition hall to the south includes the 50 metre competition and diving pool, whilst the leisure hall to the Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia north contained the 50 metre warm up pool, free form leisure water, beach entry slides, spas, saunas and access to an outdoor aquatic garden. In essence the building could operate in part or whole, according to demand. Each space reflected its different With the expansion of professional sport across boundaries the Sydney Football Stadium grew out of the need to establish a dedicated world class rectangular field stadium for New use, with the Competition Hall being more controllable and adaptable compared with South Wales. The Sydney Cricket Ground had been the premier venue where all football the light and airy Leisure Hall. codes were played as well as cricket, but pitch deterioration occured due to overuse.

Sydney Football Stadium

The ground in winter had the Rugby Union, Rugby League, Football and Australian Rules matches and this all took its toll. The client’s brief was simple; 40,000 seats, no corporate facilities and a continuous roof to give a feeling of containment like Twickenham. It also responded to a variety of unique challenges on a tight site that resulted in many of the innovations that gave rise to its character.

Incorporated into the facility were the latest technological developments to assist competitors and produce a “fast� pool. This assisted competitors to set over 50 world records in the pool to date.

The seating bowl was developed to ensure a good view from all seats and for fans to be as close to the action as possible. The majority of seats were located at the sides which is the preferred viewing point for all of the football codes. Over this the roof was cantilevered, rising and falling like a roller coaster as it folllowed the seating form. The height of the leading roof edge at the sides allowed for the sports lighting to be built into it, hence minimising the spill that normally occured with light mast structures. Whilst the structural solution pushed the boundaries of materials and technologies with its 30 metre cantilevers, one of the great successes of this stadium is the way that the engineering was expressed and refined to be the primary architectural feature of the venue. The crown of masts not only elegantly holding up the roof, but also giving the venue a distinctive and indelible image. A modern day Colosseum that became the benchmark for the next generation of stadiums that followed. Sydney Aquatic Centre, Sydney, Australia


Cover story: past, present, future

Cox at present

The Future

Cox Architecture is leading sport stadia design. Its people are at the forefront of intelligent and evolutionary concepts, learning from each proposal they create and applying that knowlege to stadiums across the globe. Cox Architecture have been responsible for the design of many of Australia and Asia’s major sport and recreation facilities, establishing a strong reputation of innovative and cost effective sport stadium design and bringing about world-class venues.

At Cox, we are constantly developing our understanding of where sport is headed, how fans can be better engaged at the venue and the technologies that help to shape them. Whilst the lesson learned from the past are important and help to inform new projects, each is different and requires a unique response. This has certainly been the case with projects like the Lusail Multipurpose Hall in Qatar.

Just like the game of cricket, stadiums are developing at a rapid rate. Cricket, from its origins in England to its first international test between the U.S.A. and Canada in 1844, has evolved to become a worldwide entertainment phenomenon and playground for elite sportsmen all over the world. With the introduction of the one day test, Twenty20 cricket, and advances in intelligent technology, these rapid changes to the game have added pressure to the stadiums in where cricket is played, further increasing the need for smart, well planned, and innovative stadium design and development. Player and spectator expectations have also been heightened, forcing stadium designers to deepen their understanding of exceptional design to deliver enhanced experiences to fans around the world. This includes well planned and integrated player facilities, advanced viewing options for spectators, inspiring interior fit-out, and an array of multifaceted dining options to make this sporting event not just about the game, but the experience. Currently the firm is involved with the redevelopment of key oval venues in various State capitals in Australia. This includes the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Adelaide Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground. These venues will be the premier facilities for cricket and AFL in their communities.

AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia

AAMI Park AAMI Park represents a move forward by the city to provide residents and visitors alike with a first-class facility that embodies a pioneering approach to public architecture and in turn, public life. The design provides a stadium that is easily accessed by spectators and highly utilised by elite players and clubs. The client’s brief was to provide a facility for four separate

football codes, with spectator seating as close to the action as possible. A key aim was to provide the “perfect” seating bowl, with seats rising up to optimise the preferred east and west flanks with excellent sightlines and proximity to the action, while allowing close seats for the goal end fans at north and south stands. This form was articulated in a series of bays to maximise the sense of theatre and engagement that is so important to creating great events. A sustainable venue with its curved roof forms weighing around 60 kilograms a metre, deifying the trend to cloak facilities with additional skins. Initiatives include: water harvesting and recycling, material recycling, passive energy systems, low embodied energy materials and building automation systems. The venue contains training and club functions, allowing it to be utilised 7 days a week within the broader Melbourne Olympic Park.

The Lusail Multi-Purpose Hall is being developed by the Qatar Olympic Committee to host the 2015 International Handball Federation (IHF) World Championships. It will also be a key venue in Doha’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. A building of advanced technology and sustainability initiatives, the venue is required to comply with the related international federations regulations, in particular Basketball, Volleyball and Handball. The concept is inspired by the form pattern graphics of Islamic ceramics and mosaics using bright colours and resulting in a curved form that is unique and exciting, yet identifiable with the local culture. The undulating form maintains a regular centre dome consistent with Islamic architecture.

Whilst Cox builds on the flexibility and operational requirements of venues like the Allphones Arena, it will set new benchmarks for spectator comfort, environmental response and flexibility of use.



Interview with Alastair Richardson about future of cricket stadiums

THE FUTURE OF THE CRICKET STADIUM Australia-based Cox Architecture is the most experienced practice when it comes to cricket venues. Sports Director Alastair Richardson gives his insight into sports and cricket venue architecture.

Alastair Richardson Alastair is one of Australia’s most experienced sports architects with in-depth knowledge in the development, design and delivery of sports facilities. His work has been recognised with numerous architectural and industry awards. Alastair is a regular contributor to conferences and international publications.


Interview with Alastair Richardson about future of cricket stadiums

Alastair, I want to talk to you about the future of cricket? So what indeed is the future of cricket, how do you see it? At the moment COX Architecture are probably working on the most cricket venues in the world, in terms of modern facilities. We are doing the redevelopment of Adelaide Oval, the new northern stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground and we are retained by the MCG Melbourne Cricket Ground as their Architects and doing continuous work with them. We’re also currently working and assessing venues for the 2015 cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand, which has given us a unique insight into where cricket is heading globally. How will cricket venues be developed in the future? The reason why we are doing a lot of this work is because cricket is actually one of the fastest growing sports, as a result of the success of the International Premier League or IPL in India as well as the shorter form of the game known as Twenty20 cricket. It’s actually opened cricket up to being a game that is essentially of two to three hours duration, so very similar to Baseball and offers a fantastic fan experience because it’s all geared around entertainment for the viewers.

despite the long traditions of the game, continuing elements into a modern format of the traditional forms of the architecture that’s so typical of cricket venues i.e. the cricket pavilion. The cricket pavilion is one of the oldest pieces of sports architecture in the world and has defined cricket grounds and sports stadia’s across the world. The new work we’re doing in Sydney and Adelaide creates the modern cricket pavilion that radiates a modern identity for the ground and a piece of architecture that is not about the coliseum style, it is actually about how the stadium connects to the city with views in and out of the field of play linking it to its surrounding context whilst accommodating the fans and keeping them as close to the action as possible with a variety of different opportunities for product.

“The new work we’re doing in Sydney and Adelaide creates the modern cricket pavilion that radiates a modern identity for the grounds...”

What you are saying is that football stadiums are more focused on the pitch and cricket stadiums are more open to all the various views and sites as well as the pitch? Why is that?

In this future vision of the sport of cricket, what’s the difference for the stadiums you build now to the ones you will build in years to come?

Correct, it’s a part of the tradition of the game and the way the buildings are done, that what cricket tries to create, is a sense of identity within its context. As you know a lot of football stadiums certainly are very inward focused. That actually means that once you are attending a game and sitting in the seating bowl, you wouldn’t necessarily know whether you are in Australia, Europe, the Middle East or India.

The biggest difference is that we are looking at the product mix and how the product is defined within those buildings, in other words revenue generating opportunities. Because of the shorter form of cricket it’s a far more consumable sport and at the same time

In cricket the traditions of the game are far more about the long format of the game where people get in and out of their seat, they move around a lot, they often look at what’s going on outside the ground as well as inside and therefore the events sphere is


Canberra Stadium (3)





Interview with Alastair Richardson about future of cricket stadiums

something that’s more encompassing, its actually more than just what’s going on in the field of play. How does this influence the architecture? Essentially instead of a single array of buildings like a coliseum they become a series of pavilions, an ensemble of stands, located around the field of play. When you look at what we’re doing in Adelaide at the moment, we have three pavilions, we have an open end of the ground which is where the heritage trees and heritage scoreboard are being retained. This allows the stadium to be very clearly linked to the park land, with the park land flowing into the ground. It also allows views back to the ground from the city, hence from a TV broadcasting perspective, when you’re watching and covering the game you always, even down at pitch level, have the ability to get a glimpse of the city beyond the stadium. This of course means that the ability of the stadium to reflect the attributes of its city is greatly enhanced. So what you’re saying is because a cricket game lasts very long time, it should offer a variety of experiences and spaces around the framing the event? Spectators of course nowadays love a kind of relaxing, leisure based experience where they can enjoy a game of cricket and at the same time appreciate the atmosphere and surroundings, right? That’s right, that’s the traditional form of the game and those traditions of what the pavilion might be have gone to the shorter form of the game. So again, it’s about how you actually determine that if you’re playing in Calcutta, you’re actually in Calcutta, if you’re playing in Mumbai, you’re in Mumbai, and if you are playing in Melbourne you can see Melbourne and you are a part of Melbourne. So whether it’s the short form or the long form of the game, the tradition of the cricket pavilion, the location of the pavilion in relation to how players gain access onto the field, the views that are offered from the field to outside are all a part of what makes cricket stadiums unique. Unlike the typical let’s say, coliseum approach of a traditional football or rugby stadium which could really, once your inside the ground, be anywhere in the world!


Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia

What services and elements are you implementing in Adelaide for example? We have developed a cricket field club for Adelaide where fans are literally at the boundary rope and are able to celebrate the achievements of the game down at the field level. We have outdoor terraces because obviously cricket is a summer sport, it’s generally pleasant outside and you’re issues are more to deal with shade than actually protection from rain because the game is canceled when it rains. So we have the ability to have outdoor barbeque terraces, outdoor party decks, video board clubs and then elements also within the seating bowl that allow people to get in and out of their seats easier and when walking around the concourses you always have a connection to the field, you can always see the field of play. Those are the elements that make great cricket venues. In football stadiums there are people who look for conference rooms, hotel facilities and so on as part of the venue, can this model be applied to cricket stadiums too? The cricket stadium can have those elements but rather than trying to compete against the convention and exhibition center buildings, cricket spaces are usually more unique, they’re usually more steeped in tradition and they are particular to the ground.


National Indoor Sport & Training Centre (2)



Interview with Alastair Richardson about future of cricket stadiums

For example, Lords has the wonderfully named Long Room which is probably one of the most famous rooms within cricket. Now of course it can act as a function room but it is not set out as a function room, it was and is actually the Member’s Long Room, the member’s gallery overlooking the field. The MCG has similar rooms like that which are rich in history. There not just function rooms that happen to have the ability to host a conference or a large banquet, they are actually far more than that.

replay. In addition we want to see the mobile user, the fan who goes with a smart phone or their tablet for instance and will be able to gain additional services and features that are unique to a live event. When we’re talking about the digital stadia of the future, it’s not only physically sitting on the seats and experiencing the social atmosphere of the live event. It’s actually about the live content that you can uniquely get at the venue through your mobile device to help enhance the overall experience.

Is your aim to combine all of these experiences that you’ve made with cricket venues into a business model and then apply it to another country like India or Sri Lanka? Absolutely, I think one of the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia exciting things is, in India with the rise of Twenty20 cricket and the significance of what that offers the Indian subcontinent, there is a fantastic opportunity to really explore new ways of revenue generation and new forms of the cricket stadiums. There is a lot to learn from successful venues in Australia taken that Australia currently has the largest most successful cricket venues anywhere in the world in terms of revenue generation, crowd attendance and sizes. All of what we are discussing here will hopefully influence the development of a new generation of cricket venues for the subcontinent with cricket being the premium sport and as in Pakistan and as in Sri Lanka. What are you doing for example in Sydney when you talk about a digital stadium? The digital stadium approach that we’re adopting in Sydney is to do with the expected elements that we all know about such as video boards, ribbon LED boards, IP TV systems that are all centrally controlled along with architectural lighting to brand the venue between the different teams that play there and to provide video


Where do you see technological advancement, such as new roofing systems, new kinds of shades, new textile materials leading the industry? Do you see any new developments for say the next ten years? One of the most revolutionary projects that I was designer for was Forsyth Barr stadium which has a fully enclosed natural turf pitch. I undertook a vast amount of time to research the feasibility of creating such an arena. To actually grow a grass field underneath a fully covered stadium, whilst retaining all the characteristics of a natural turf field, were truly revolutionary. I think that will be one of the key elements of certain venues in certain climes in the future and potentially other parts of the world where we can provide full weather protection and yet still provide a quality playing surface that is healthy, flourishing and provides day light characteristics for day light games. I think it will be one of the enduring elements of the future, it’s been a successful approach in Dunedin and I think that there are some valuable lessons for other venues to learn when looking at roofs and weighing up the issue of, do you pay for the cost of a retractable roof with all of its associated mechanisms and operating systems or can you provide a cover over the whole field and still achieve the same ability to create a naturally lit, naturally ventilated bowl environment?


Rod Laver Arena (2)

Sydney Convention & Training Center


Sydney Football Stadium (2)



Interview with Russell Lee about the Asian century

THE ASIAN CENTURY With the rapid increase in wealth Asian countries have increased the ability to attend and host major sporting events. The world will start to see Asia lead the way in sports venues. Cox Director Russell Lee talks about venue development in Asia.

Russell Lee has been responsible for many of the firm’s innovative sports facilities. He has managed major projects for the practice including the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, the 1998 Asian Games Aquatic and Athletic facilities in Bangkok, and the entertainment/sports complex, Allphones at Homebush Bay.


Interview with Russell Lee about the Asian century

Russell, you have mentioned ‘The Asian Century’ in our conversation. Could you explain a little more about this please? Asia’s growth in terms of its economy is evolving at such a rapid pace and we see now a new wealth. As a result a larger percentage of the population is now empowered to spend more time following leisure and sports activities.

What influences do you see from this research for your particular area of expertise? The important thing for us is looking at the Asian economies and where they’re going to. In terms of the world’s GDP say from the 1990s, Asia represented something like twelve to fifteen percent of the world’s total GDP. Europe and North America

capitalise on they’re growing requirements. They are generally taking very positive steps to provide the infrastructure required to support they’re new economic realities and expectations. Which strategies are you implementing to penetrate this vibrant Asian market in order to secure a lot of these new sport & entertainment opportunities?

We are working at the moment on a number of cricket facilities in Australia, including three of the five major cricket venues in the country. Taking that knowledge that we gain from those projects that is developing an innovative and unique approach with communities, club etc. Where the infrastructure currently isn’t up to modern standards and needs. Some of those redevelopments would enable venue operators in the market place to develop and expand sponsorship opportunities represented the majority. Now what we’re seeing are projections going forward, to say and so forth. This improvement throughout about 2025 to 2030 where Asia is expected the game in the future will bring plenty to contribute thirty-five percent of the world’s of opportunity for this to translate into a development of new or facilities. We can GDP! offer as part of our expertise which we have That means the demand for entertainment developed over the years. For instance when we look at India with the IPL, it will venues, sports venues will also increase be a very good example of how substantial over the coming years, right? revenue can be generated. This will enable the facilities to be redeveloped and to Correct, we now have a rapidly growing improve the competition of the league. Asian population which has the resources to spend on leisure and entertainment that just didn’t exist before. I think we are also seeing that Asia is striving to invest, to

“Asia has generally demonstrated that they are striving to invest, to capitalise on their growing requirements. ” Are there any recent studies or official numbers from governments that one could look up about this new trend? The Australian goverment has written a white paper on the Asian century in the context of our geo-political and trade connections to Asia, but also due to our existing and expanding services provider relationship. Initial studies were carried out even as far back as in the late 1980s where the government did research into where they saw Asia going. More recently, this administration’s publication focuses on the prospects for Asia up until year 2050.




Canberra National Convention Centre



Interview with Russell Lee about the Asian century

In general where and how do you position COX Architecture in relation to all the other practices out there that competes for the sports & entertainment venue contracts?

They are often looking for what is a unique answer to their particular brief.

We have worked and infact are currently working on some of the most impotant cricket venues. Contributing and innovating these venues - and therefore assisting in redefining what the experience at the ground is allows us to bring a freshness to sport venue design which is reflective of the traditions of the game – yet celebrates the game in a very contemporary way in which technology play a mayor role. We represent further to my mind a situation where Australia as a market is very close to where most Asian markets actually are. It’s probably worthwhile thinking about the Sydney Olympic Games which was only eight years before the Beijing Olympic Games. Australia was able to take that expertise and experience and was able to directly apply it to the Asian market. In a similar way with various other events such as the Commonwealth Games, which has direct comparisons with the Asian Games, as well as other lesser international events such as University games, there is a direct opportunity for us to provide that expertise.

What are the differences in dealing with a client or building a stadium in Australia or Asian countries like India compared to Europe or North America? One of the things we’re seeing is that Australian stadiums tend to be very similar to the American model. I think a sign of our times is the commercialization of the stadium but also engaging with the fan experience in the actual venue itself. Europe I think is also moving in that direction probably at a slightly different pace from say Australia and certainly behind America. One of the elements we’ve seen with venues in Asia though is that they are only starting to explore commercialization of the venues. Its still in its infancy, in terms of the the depth that is required by the market to support the corporate and club expectations which are now commonplace in America and Australian stadiums. As you can see by some of the Olympic venues and other major venues they tend to be more engineering and iconic briefs. They don’t incorporate the ideas relating to the fan’s experiences with the different types of offer, different types of levels of experience and the different type of corporate amenity that we now see in the truly modern venues around the world.

“Asia is expected to contribute 35% of the world’s GDP!”

Another aspect about our ability is the fact that we bring a certain amount of innovation that is probably unrivalled by a lot of our North American and European competitors in that we are used to working in a very controlled and very tight market. We are constrained by the tyranny of distance and so we have to come up with quite cost effective and innovative solutions to various problems. This basically means that rather than coming up with prescribed solutions for various things, we are often having to think through the problem and then come up with unique solutions which both meet the clients brief, budget, location and so forth. We find that this is particularly relevant in Asia in that our Asian clients don’t see that they should be given a solution just because it’s been used a number of times before.


Does it help you now with the Indian market that you have a great level of expertise - due to the work that the COX team has done, working with cricket stadiums in Australia? We believe, Cricket requires a particular understanding in that it is a very traditional, yet dymamic and high performance oriented sport which triggers very specific requirements regarding the venue design. As a matter of fact it’s really hard to perform a lot of other sports particularly in a cricket stadium due to its oval shape. It’s very much defined by the pitch direction, north-south and of course the


Sydney International Aquatic Centre (2)



Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

Interview with Russell Lee about the Asian century

primary viewing which is behind the wicket, where all the VIP and media seats need to be located. So it’s a very distinctive experience and issues such as sight line etc. are quite different from a lot of other venues. You don’t have a football type situation where there is a boundary line that you have to see; often the boundary line in cricket can literally be on the fence line! So it’s more about the quality of viewing into the field than necessarily a particular focal point along the edge of the field. Cricket has a wonderful character to it, so certainly having the background and experience working with these premier venues that are being developed around the world gives us a great opportunity to enter into the Indian and Sri Lankan market and put ourselves forward for their new venues in the years ahead. You said that the future stadium market is in Asia, in particular for cricket venues - and we know that they are very fond of sports, they have a great sense of fun. Which kind of level of sports or celebration venues are you offering? Is it along the lines of a U.S. model where people spend a lot of time in the venue before and after the match? We are certainly moving more towards the U.S. situation where we are trying to encourage that full spectator experience. Not Adelaide Oval, Western Grandstand only in going to the event but also encouraging the fan to go well before the event, stay all through the event and also stay after the event. So we aim to make sure that the range of facilities fit the situation - the venues are easy to get to, easy to navigate your way in and around, that there is sufficient space to congregate not necessarily in your seat but in well defined and designed areas where you can wait and meet and greet your friends and enjoy some good food and beverages before the actual event itself. There may be an opportunity for entertainment 1996

associated within those meeting areas. Moreover during the main event we aim to make sure that there is good access to various amenities such as toilets, food and beverage etc. so that people feel comfortable and so that they feel it’s easy to be able to move back and forth from their seated position to utilise various facilities. At the end of the event one of the things we are keen to promote is the fact that there will be an opportunity for the spectators to meet and greet the actual competitors in an informal situation and it will help to contain them to a certain degree in the venue so as to spread out some of the leaving times. Spectators are very keen to see their heroes. We feel it’s great to offer the opportunity to have real interaction with them at an appropriate time and level - and after the event can be a great time to do that, when the competitors themselves are more relaxed. We think that is an important part of growing an event atmosphere. As I understand the next generation of stadiums will be a mixture of new technologies incorporated and a much more physical interaction of the fans and supporters before and after the game? Correct, and I think what we are seeing with regards to new technology is the proliferation of hand held communication devices as a fantastic means of passing on information onto the spectators both before and during the actually event itself. Whether it is about their mode of transportation, or ordering food or finding their friend in a crowd. There is now a great opportunity through digital media to be able to communicate offerings and general event information to the spectator. One of the main aspects of that is that the stadiums need to be ‘wired’. This means that venues need to be ‘wired’ to be able to provide internet access to all spectatorsbefore, during and after the event. It’s critical that the interaction continues and keeps people involved, that’s a really important. It’s not just the case of being able to download podcasts or be able to listen to a stream where the game is being discussed - but also offering a very personal experience, to get up close with the talent on the field, shake hands and get signatures and autographs. All of this plays a vital role in really making it an incredible event that the fans will cherish for years.





Personalised venue technology


SAME PLACE SAME TIME Sport and entertainment events have evolved at a rapid pace over the last decade as a result of the digital and communications revolution. Mobile technology has brought the ability to watch sport anywhere, any time any place, revolutionising the way we watch and engage with sport. Where once we were concerned with the ‘home cinema’ and high definition televisions bringing live sport into our homes, we now have live sport available in real time anywhere.


he rise of mobile digital communication however should not be seen as yet another risk to the future of major sport facilities, but as an opportunity to further the live match day experience, offering fans unique data and insight into the game that can only be received ‘right here, right now’. This new digital stadia era will revolutionise stadia design and its associated virtual world creating a new generation of facilities offering Personalised Venue Technology. Stadiums and entertainment venues have become multifunctional hubs that stage a large number of different live events throughout the year. Events are becoming

more varied both in content, audience, participation and support. This changing dynamic also needs to be tailored for the mobile and digital spectator, both at the venue and roaming locally, nationally and internationally. Catering for this large number of different events and sporting teams, the venues need to offer an immersive, event focused presentation that embraces not only the venue but it’s surrounds as well. The aim of the immersive mobile environment is to engage with fans from the movement they leave their home to the actual event and back to their home again. This 360 degree experience aims to create


a unique social experience that cannot be replicated and enhances the ‘be here, be now’ credentials of live sporting events. This immersive environment continues within the venue with restaurants, bars and function rooms which will have a full dynamic audio visual experience for the spectator with concert level sound quality. This trend will continue and we will find that the expectation of the spectator towards personalised, entertainment based venues will rise: ‘As spectators move through the venue digital displays will deliver relevant event videos and information. These displays will even communicate the location of their


Asian Games Aquatic Centre


Asian Games Stadium

Durban International Convention Centre

Allphones Arena

Jondalup Aquatic Centre

Singapore EXPO

Personalised venue technology

favourite or closest food and merchandise offering. Spectators will have more amenities available at their fingertips. They will order merchandise and concessions and can be notified when they are ready for their delivery or pick-up, enabling them to spend more time enjoying the game. Spectators will stay connected to the internet for work and personal use, will access new video options, including camera angles and personal videos, check other sports scores or check their email using the guest network provided by the venue.’ - Cox Architecture The core of the modern digital stadium is the converged network system. The converged network replaces all dedicated cabling and parallel data networks previously found in stadia and forms the backbone for the enhanced mobile digital spectator experience. Virtually every electronic system in a venue can utilise the converged network to collect and transfer data, signal feeds and offer unparalleled upload and download speeds to fans. This digital connectivity combined with National Broadband Networks will allow the digital stadia of the future to act as live social hubs for the mobile revolution. Not only will the network provide secure sound, telephones, point of sale, TV coverage distribution, wireless access, ticketing, building management systems and the theming of a venue, it will also provide fan connectivity locally, nationally and internationally. ‘It is important to realise the opportunities that arise through integration of mobile technology into these spaces as well as IPTV systems that not only allow easy facility management but the creation of MoE s (Moments of Exclusivity) through synchronisation of all screens including mobile devices and segmented marketing.’ - Cox Architecture The digital stadia will guarantee fans the ability to upload and download data, to share in their unique live experience through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Whilst concerns have been raised by rights holders and venues of the social network phenomenon, it is in reality the perfect billboard for the live event, one to be encouraged and nurtured to showcase the event and uniqueness of the occasion. We will start to see not only venue technology using more displays and projections as part of the event presentation but also more personalised spectator’s experience. The integration of mobile technology can offer new opportunities in Fan-Engagement and revenue creation through integration of mobile social networking tools into the venues merchandise, CMS systems and event presentation. Social networking technologies



Cairns Convention Centre

Casey Aquatic Centre

Venue technology integration

in stadia will evolve further and bring spectators closer together whilst allowing rights holders and venues to individually tailor the fan experience. Our approach to venue design allows us to integrate these innovative technologies and create new and exciting places. We at COX Architecture are currently developing with our partners the integration of mobile devices and customised Apps using 3D gaming engines that are linked to the venues CMS and ticketing systems, to extend the spectator experience. All these elements will influence and change the functional requirements of sporting venues and will drive the creation of dynamic, interactive and distinctive sport and entertainment architecture. The digital mobile revolution will lead to a new form of event architecture, one that is core to the experience economy and that will exist both in the physical and virtual world. Alastair Richardson and Joachim Clauss Cox Architecture





VENUE OVERVIEW Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia

Capactiy: 100,000 Usage: AFL and cricket


Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia

Capactiy: 48,000 Usage: AFL, Rugby League and cricket

Ashes cricket venues overview

Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia

WACA, Perth, Australia

Capactiy: 53,500 Usage: Multi-purpose

Trent Bridge, Nottingham, UK

Capactiy: 17,500 Usage: Cricket and football

GABA, Brisbane, Australia

Capactiy: 42,000 Usage: Multi-purpose

Capactiy: 24,500 Usage: Cricket

Edgabaston, Birmingham, UK

Capactiy: 25,000 Usage: Cricket

The Oval, Kennington, UK

Capactiy: 23,500 Usage: Cricket and football

Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester, UK

Capactiy: 25,000 Usage: Cricket and concerts

Lords Cricket Ground, London UK

Capactiy: 30,000 Usage: Cricket



Interview with Stuart Clark about a player’s perspective

A PLAYER’S PERSPECTIVE Cox Architecture’s Alastair Baxter recently caught up with former Australian cricketer and World Cup Champion, Stuart Clarke, to get an insider’s view of some of the world’s most successful cricket venues.

Stuart Clark Stuart is a former Australian national cricketer who played for New South Wales and the Australian team. He was a right-arm pace bowler playing in 24 tests from 2006. He also held the position of general manager for the Sydney 6ers, the Twenty20 franchise whilst continuing to play in the IPL and domestic limitedovers matches.


Interview with Stuart Clark about a player’s perspective

Stuart, with your long history and international experience in cricket, what do you see as the key elements in a successful international cricket ground? From a player’s perspective the key elements are the pitch, player facilities, atmosphere and a ground’s historical significance. Obviously a good pitch and playing surface are very important to the success of a venue, from a player’s perspective. This is generally achieved at a cricket ground through years of experience. Drop-in pitches have also become more widespread in international cricket with varying results but when done well, such as at the MCG, they can be excellent and the equal of permanent pitches.

Alastair Baxter is a Sports Architect with extensive knowledge of sports, leisure, convention and exhibition facilities as well as community and regional size facilities. He was a professional rugby union player for the Wallabies and Waratahs, finishing his career as Australia’s most capped tight head prop.

During a 5 day test match players will spend large amounts of time within the facilities, often in quite a hostile environment (both environmentally and culturally) so good player’s facilities are also important in the success of a ground. The best grounds give careful consideration to this, with internal and external viewing and lounge areas that are easily accessible to the ground, practice areas and changing rooms. Changing rooms also need to be sufficient in size (sometimes to accommodate a full 28 person touring party) with access to training, recovery and medical spaces. For Twenty20 cricket there is also the need for indoor batting cages in the warm up areas because the


quick turnaround between innings makes the use of outdoor practice pitches difficult. Atmosphere is another element essential to the success of a ground and the closer the crowd is to the pitch the better. Stadiums also need to be built at an appropriate capacity to suit their regular crowd sizes – if you consistently have a large half empty stadium this will adversely affect the atmosphere. From a player’s perspective the last element, but most difficult to capture, is that of a ground’s history or certain idiosyncrasies. Cricket has a long and extraordinary history and the best grounds reflect this as well as celebrate particular aspects that set them apart from other grounds. Take the Long Room, sloping pitch and square ground shape of Lords.

How does this relate to an Administrator’s perspective? Many of the same elements that make a successful ground from a player’s point of view are also consistent with that of an administrator such as a ground’s atmosphere and historical significance (although their value is one around marketing and brand recognition). In addition, other areas that determine a venue’s success from an administrators perspective are: infrastructure, food and beverage service, corporate facilities and, particular to cricket, it’s scoreboard. Infrastructure (parking, roads and transport) and food and beverage greatly affect a spectator’s experience of a venue and their willingness to attend grounds.


Parklea Leisure Centre

Shenzen Aquatic Centre


Deeks Forest

Perth Convention Centre



Interview with Stuart Clark about a player’s perspective

Corporate (and member) facilities are important as a high margin product and keeps key stakeholders and sponsors happy with their investment. Cricket is also a game highly reliant upon statistics with short moments of action within long periods of relative inaction thus the size, location, number and definition of scoreboards becomes critical to the experience of cricket at a venue. In light of the elements you have outlined above, which cricket venues do you see as

the most successful in the world?

has good player facilities including indoor/ outdoor viewing areas well connected to There are four grounds that really stand out: changing rooms, lounge and wet areas. the SCG, the MCG, Lords and Newlands. The The MCG is a true coliseum type ground. Sydney Cricket Ground is a ground with a When walking out on day 1 of the 2006 great balance between stadium arena and Ashes Boxing Day Test in front of 90,000 history. It showcases the heritage of the spectators the noise and feeling nearly blew member’s pavilions yet also has outstanding us away. It was an extraordinary experience. cricket members and corporate facilities The ground also has good playing facilities being developed in the new Bradman/ and great scoreboards although due to its Noble stands (due for completion for the sheer size can feel cavernous when empty. Ashes Series in 2014). The ground has a great atmosphere even when not full and Lords Cricket Ground is another that stands

Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia


Energy Australia Stadium

Khalifa International Stadium


Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

Manuka Oval

Melbourne Exhibition Convention and Centre Feasability Study

TelstraClear Pacific Arena

Interview with Stuart Clark about a player’s perspective

out in world cricket, relatively small at only 28,000 seats but with a great history and amazing peculiarities making it a memorable place to play international cricket. Newlands is another genuinely memorable place to play cricket located at the foot of Cape Town’s magnificent Table Mountain. What do you see as the future of cricket venues? The future of cricket venues lies in attracting greater spectators, increased venue competition, integrated technology and facility upgrades (especially in existing markets such as India). A key factor in attracting more spectators is the timing of the games. Weekend day games attract the largest crowds but the poorest TV audiences. Night games (for ODIs and Twenty20) attract the best TV audiences but the poorest crowds. The balance will need to be decided upon by administrators if they wish to grow the TV audience or the crowd attendance and this will have direct bearing upon cricket venues constructed in the future. It may be that some forms of the game will still have to rely heavily on TV but there is an argument that greater crowd attendance attracts greater TV audience long term.

As discussed, scoreboards are critical to a cricket spectator’s experience of the game

Due to the substandard nature of the India’s existing cricket venues and infrastructure,

“From a player’s perspective the last element, but most difficult to capture is that of a ground’s history or certain idiosyncrasies.” and as technology improves so will size, resolution and positioning of these at cricket grounds. Similarly, as in-seat technology improves and becomes more affordable, in-seat screens, integrated sound and Wi-Fi (already being used in the US) will become more widely adopted around the world. From an administrator’s point of view, other areas that will benefit from advances in technology will be in the use of LCD advertising boards. These are being developed to be both active and interactive following action on the pitch and responding to the crowds. Also, greater competition between grounds should also start to increase as venues compete for rights of games and the state bodies’ decision power is removed.

there is significant opportunity for venues to be upgraded to an international level. Currently a lack of resources detracts from these venues including lack of running water, refrigeration and an unreliable power supply. There are increasing security issues at each of the stadiums and a need for more emphasis on comfort and protecting players and spectators alike from insects and insect borne diseases such as Malaria. Historically India’s investment focus has been in hotels, hospitality and retail, not in increasing the quality of sporting venues. With more private investment in these venues an increase in tourism, cricket sponsorship and game development can begin to evolve.

What about when you were playing in The future of cricket venues will also need to India? What do you see in the future for take advantage of advances in technology. cricket stadiums there?



Mackay Convention Centre

Northern Stand Re-devlopment

Macquarie University Sports and Athletic Centre


Qindao Olympic Sailing Facility

Tony Ireland Stadium



Interview with Joachim Clauss about design technology

PARAMETRIC MODELLING The methods of designing projects have changed rapidly. New technology paves the way to what will be the future of designing, constructing and facility management. Joachim Clauss, Associate and design architect at COX Architecture allows us a view behind the scenes.

Joachim Clauss Joachim has contributed as a sports venue designer to a range of national and international projects. He has developed a particular level of knowledge regarding the design of large-scale structures. He is also a regular contributor to industry discussions through his memberships with the IASS and LSAA, and as a guest lecturer at several Universities.


Interview with Joachim Clauss about design technology

How have the developments in technology over recent years changed the way the COX architecture approaches design? Firstly we have to think more broadly about the aspects and the process of project delivery and design. The question that we are obviously aiming to answer as part of our design process is what is the best possible outcomes for the project and of course therefore our client. That achieves a relevant and bespoke design outcome with respect to the local context and place. The first decisions in what the stadium will be like, revolves around the question of what code will be played at the venue, its capacity, its supporting programs, such as the corporate product etc. You quickly find that the first steps in designing a venue soon increase in complexity as all the various engineering disciplines and so forth join the conversation and start to give their input into the process. We as designers have to be able to very quickly test numerous options and iterations of the design and this is where design technology started some time ago to play a major role. All our design studies are carried out in 3D using custom built scripts in addition to BIM (Building information Modeling) – and these design techniques certainly have had a very big impact in the way we are working.

defined by geometry. The scripts and parametric models that we are developing in-house allow us to optimize a seating bowl for example to the absolute smallest detail so as to create that in-depth spectator experience. What do you mean by parametric modeling – or parametric design? The parametric modelling system can be best described by its ability to handle inter-object dependencies – you have to picture a sports venue in all its complexity – seating bowl, structure, roof etc. You have to understand that we can make changes to the settings of the design within seconds as they are all connected within the parametric model! – or in other words we can change a variable in the parametric model and the model is rebuilding itself basically. Are you a pioneer in this field? Yes, I would say so. Parametric design has been around for some time, but I think we are one of the first practices to explore and use it in such depth, especially on sport venues. One of the things we strive for is to do more with less – meaning for example to craft a structure such as a stadium roof with the least material possible, hence the lightest structure possible. Our process allows us to

That means that some of the elements or scripts as you call them are sports venue specific? Correct. At the core of our design is to create for and with our clients the best venue possible and one aspect that does contribute greatly to what the venue is and what its qualities are is the seating bowl, which forms the viewing platform for all spectators. It is therefore obviously very important. Sports venues in particular and in fact all types of entertainment venues that are based around the spectator experience have to have great acoustics and viewing and both are very much 2009

Melbourne and Olympic Park Feasability Study and Masterplan

Lusail Multi-purpose Hall concept model


Victor Trumper Stand, Sydney Cricket Ground



Brisbane Convention Centre Expansion

MediBank Icehouse



Interview with Joachim Clauss about design technology

push those boundaries to our current technological limits within the industry. This is COX at its best, trying always to be one step ahead. So is fair to assume that such specialized work would be carried out by a certain group of people at COX? You are quite right. We are talking about a core group of highly skilled individuals. They all form a team, devised from our various offices which we refer to as the COX AGU (Advanced Geometry Unit). It’s a very diverse group, some of them have an academic research background, but they are all obviously architects with an in depth understanding of not only design but also constructability issues and structure. What role do you think BIM (Building Lusail Indoor Arena concept model

“Parametric design has been around for some time, but I think we are one of the first practices to explore and use it in such depth.” Information Modeling) plays in the industry at the moment? BIM software creates a three-dimensional (3D) model full of smart objects embedded with information. BIM makes it easier to integrate architecture with other disciplines, avoid “clashes” of building elements; it can instantly output lists of materials and also be used to analyze numerous engineering factors, such as lighting, acoustics or energy usage. At its core, BIM can provide more building knowledge earlier in the life cycle, subsequently improving organizational performance and enabling construction to occur faster. How does this improve your business? Is this a great addition and is COX able to generate more business because of the use of this modern technology? The clients are very happy with the combination of BIM and parametric design. It gives the clients a lot


more security regarding planning and costs. Because in a lot of ways this gives them the most realistic data about how their project will turn out. In addition to that they can test and play during the design process, so this has made everything more flexible and open to new ideas and suggestions. We are playing with different configurations of the seating bowl for example and we are able to generate new spaces within the stadium bowl which allows the client to generate more turnover – and everything is in 3D and in real time. With our parametric tools the client can immediately see the effect of the changes on the construction and operation costs. Something we could only have dreamt of back when I first began in this business! It truly has changed the nature of the game. So what you are saying is that the design methods and design technology has got a direct benefit to the client? Very much so. We are talking about reduced turn-around times for complex planning or geometrical issues. The outputs that are being generated through our design methods apart from the design itself include for example, spreadsheets that illustrate the number of


Kaohsiung International Exhbition and Convention Centre

Southern Stand Redevelopment, Melbourne Cricket Ground


Adelaide Oval Redevelopment

Bradman and Noble Stands, Sydney Cricket Ground

NIB Stadium

Interview with Joachim Clauss about design technology

Parametric bowl script

seats, viewing quality, proximity to the pitch, the façade area or roof space, path of travel to and from the merchandise outlet or an optimization of elements to reduce a number of bespoke cladding elements to find more cost effective solutions and so forth, hence a very broad range of outputs. How does such a design process influence a design workshop with a client? Is that something that is immediately visible? Absolutely. We are using parametric modeling here in the workshops with our clients all the time. This actually allows us to create a new level of engagement, interaction and discussion about the design. The same applies to the coordination process with a consultant team. In the past there used to be a process in which we would develop and draw a design position which would be discussed with the consultant team using 2D drawings. Today we are using 3D BIM and parametric models in our discussion which immediately gives us a clear understanding of the intent. The 3D aspect allows us to keep in mind what was discussed and looked at because it is not just a static image. It can be changed on the spot during and in-fact as part of our discussions.

How does the accumulation of all these new technologies change the design of a stadium or of an arena?

There are a lot of beautiful venues that exist around the world but in terms of technology, there is still some way to go, right?


Lusail Multi-purpose Hall (2)

Yes, just recently the trend started in upgrading the stadiums with technology to create a “digital stadium” so to speak. This means making it possible for thousands of fans to have access to the internet at the same time during the match. Using all types of smart devices simultaneously, in the past the demand would have swamped the system but today this is a new reality which directly enhances the fans experience. People can use social media during the sporting event. Additionally, it will be possible to order food with a mobile device or with a tool in your seat which means that you won’t miss a moment of the action as the food is delivered directly to you!

It will definitely change and has already started to change the game. This will start with the ticketing, with the entrance control, with the jacket or coat you will give to the cloakroom, merchandise outlets etc. The next generation of stadium will and should be integrated into the city not just structurally but digitally so that people can truly communicate and interact with it even before they have set foot inside the venue. The times when stadiums were “activated” for one game per week is over, stadium technology has evolved so much that it is even possible to host multiple and completely different large scale events on the same day!






PAVILIONS FOR THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY Tradition meets the digital age in the new generation of cricket stadia


ricket is Australia’s number one summer sport both professionally and at an amateur level. It is the national sport culturally and geographically, and it is the sport that defines the nation since the first international test match between Australia and England in 1877. This historic event held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground makes the ground one of the oldest international stadiums in continuous use. Ever since that first test match, the sporting rivalry between England and Australia has known no bounds. It has been at the core of the development of sporting legends, of defining moments in history and forming the oldest sporting tournament, the Ashes. Australia’s passion for cricket gave rise to its local version of football, the Australian Football League. Originally developed in 1858 in Melbourne by the Melbourne Cricket Club to keep cricketers fit during the winter months, it rapidly grew to become Australia’s unique version of football. Its popularity and its commonality with the cricket field size has resulted in Australia’s cricket grounds becoming some of the largest and most commercially viable in the world. This year represents a unique point in time for the Ashes; it is the second time in its 131 year history that an away and home series between Australia and England has occurred in the same calendar year. This rare circumstance resulting from the 2015 World Cup, which is also scheduled to be held in Australia, and England’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games, has acted as an impetus for the next round of developments of Australia’s cricket grounds.


The 2013-2014 Ashes Tour will see Tests hosted at the refurbished Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the redeveloped Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the redeveloped Adelaide Oval and the refurbished Manuka Oval in Canberra. Australia’s cricket grounds combine tradition and history with a strong sense of the future. MCG, the world’s largest cricket stadium with a capacity of 100,000, is currently undertaking a $41million refurbishment that includes new technology as well as improved facilities for all fans. The refurbishment will be completed in 2013 in time for the 2013-2014 Ashes Tour and will create a digitally connected stadium with new food courts, bars, function rooms and integrated digital media through an IPTV system, video boards, video walls and ribbon boards. Key to the ongoing success

Pavilions of the experience economy

of Australia’s premier stadium will be the installation of a converged network and extensive wireless networks to provide 100% coverage to all seats and concourse areas. The work currently being designed by Cox Architecture sees the realisation of a new digital architectural platform at the MCG. This new infrastructure will significantly enhance the event day experience and allow fans a greater range of digital and mobile services that could

cover team statistics, personalised video replay, interactive and predictive gaming, online food and beverage pre ordering, online merchandise, location services, public information (transport), ticketing and social media interface (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) with high capacity for uploads and downloads. Alastair Richardson Director, COX Architecture, Australia

Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia

Sydney Cricket Ground In Sydney, works are well underway for the $185 million redevelopment of the Northern Grandstands at the SCG, one of the world’s most revered Test cricket grounds with over 100 Tests hosted at the ground during its 159-year history. The SCG, like Lords and the Oval in London, is one of the few grounds in the world where tradition and ritual are still evident in the original pavilions that flank the hallowed turf. The Members Pavilion (1886) and the Ladies Pavilion (1896) hark back to a bygone era providing tradition, continuity and a lasting legacy for the game and the members of the SCG. These two pavilions are amongst the oldest team sporting structures in the world in continuous use, older than Lords Pavilion (1889) and Old Trafford (1909).

Adelaide Oval Adelaide Oval, Australia’s third largest cricket ground, it is also undergoing a complete redevelopment. Work on the historic ground began in 2007 which saw the completion of the Western Stand as the first stage of the overall redevelopment, which was completed in 2010 in time for the Ashes Tour that year. Prior to the completion of the new $98million Members Stand, work had commenced on bringing football back to Adelaide Oval and completing the overall development of the famous ground. Construction is now underway by Baulderstone on the $450million redevelopment of the rest of the ground with the new Southern Stand due to open in 2013 in time for the Ashes Tour, and the stadium due for completion in 2014 in time for the 2014 AFL season. The

redeveloped Adelaide Oval, set within the historic Adelaide parklands on the banks of the Torrens River and adjacent to the central business district, was designed by a consortium of architects led by Cox Architecture. The new 50,000 seat Adelaide Oval continues the traditions of the historic ground through the development of three distinct pavilions located on the west, south and east sides of the oval and the retention of the historic northern mound with its fig trees, heritage scoreboard and grass hill. Throughout the stadium a digital and mobile technology interface provides connectivity for all fans, bringing the digital sporting revolution to the historic ground. The new Adelaide Oval provides a home ground for three teams; Adelaide Football Club, Port Adelaide Football Club and South Australian Redbacks (cricket).

The new grandstand designed by Cox Architecture, is currently under construction by AW Edwards for the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust. The new stand forms part of a $1 billion master plan that will reconnect the precinct to the city, provide new technology and transport solutions as well as new restaurant and public facilities which aim to improve the game day experience and revenue generating opportunities for team and ground alike.

Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia



Interview with Josh Beaudoin about venue technology

THE STADIUM GOES DIGITAL The next generation of stadiums should be multifunctional and, of course digital. Cox Architecture realised this trend very early and cooperates with Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. The Arizona-based company transforms the stadium into a digital hot spot. Associate Principal at WJHW Josh Beaudoin explains how.

Josh Beaudoin has gained extensive experience in the design and implementation of Stadium technology in Australasia and the US. His skills include a high degree of expertise with venue sound and audio systems, audio engineering, digital signage as well as large scale video boards and IPTV technology.


Interview with Josh Beaudoin about venue technology

Josh, you have been working in collaboration with the COX team for some time - how did your relationship start with the COX team and what is your contribution to venue design?

also see some of this spilling over into the Collegiate market so some of the big division one universities here are really starting to deploy professional style entertainment systems.

I am based in Scottsdale, Arizona and we are a technology consulting firm that works on a subcontract basis with Cox in the stadium and entertainment side of their business. There are 47 people in our firm and we design technical entertainment systems for stadiums and arenas, this is our specialty. We are basically providing direction regarding venue technology starting with LED video boards, sound systems, IPTV systems. In the last three or four years there has been a massive swift in the amount of technology that is going into stadiums in the US. Many stadiums five years ago didn’t even have Wi-Fi connectivity; five years ago they weren’t distributing all of the Television over an IP network. So for example in the past you might have had one big scoreboard but not four big scoreboards, the technology is moving exponentially in these buildings. So in the past when we supported the COX team we only had a very small slither of a project. Today however venue technology has become much more prominentand has started to The majority of the venues have limited their efforts to a single evolve into one of the centre pieces of stadium design. scoreboard,but now what we’re seeing is that they are investing in pretty extensive IP TV systems, they are all looking at digital venue Five to ten years ago we might have been about just two percent boards and how they’re increasing revenue with that technology of the total construction budget, and now we often find that we are through advertising and evolve their on food sales for example, about ten percent or more. so it’s really pretty much everywhere! With that said, in the United States and now in Australia we’re working on several large projects Are these kinds of advancements specific to let’s say the NFL, and they are going through the exact same trend. I’m calling it right NHL and Baseball or is this trend occurring throughout all now “the industrial revolution of technology. stadiums in the U.S.? What can a stadium operator who in interesting in investing into This trend is throughout all of them and even in the United States venue technology and a general upgrade expect from the Cox/ which is arguably the largest market for this with so many leagues WJHW team? and so many stadiums. Each one of these leagues has initiatives in place, and what we’re actually doing is that for example with We really offer three major benefits, the first two tie-in with revenue. major league baseball we are helping them to identify what their Firstly advice, design and implement spaces and technology that Wi-Fi standard is for each of their buildings. We see these kind of increase in advertising dollars so when for example implement an advancements in NFL, major league basketball and the basketball IPTV system we generate the additional inventory we enable the league share many of their buildings with ice hockey. And now we operator to utilize what we refer to as ‘squeeze back advertising’ so 2020


Doha International Stadium

Sydney Cricket Ground Masterplan




Interview with Josh Beaudoin about venue technology

you can present an advert as well as the actual game and scores all on the one screen. This obviously creates great, additional revenue streams for the operator. And if we think about this more broadly - by providing access to all of this technology and the connection to the game allows you to increase your per caps on food and beverage as well. A fan is not going to sit in their seat throughout the entire game because they are afraid of missing a crucial moment in the game when they know that if they run off to buy a soda and some chips, they will be able through this technology to look up and see that big scores happen right on the screens at the F&B outlet and there will be the replay for them to watch as well. The third aspect which to a degree still applies to revenue but is a little different is the overall fan experience. About six years ago in the United States we largely switched to high definition television. So everything is 1080p quality and broadcasted into my house so now sport looks amazing on a 70 inch screen with a very high resolution. And whether it’s in the United States or anywhere else, stadiums have always competed with the living room So these venues are challenged in certain instances to offer that unique experience that you can’t get in your living room. By implementing all these technology changes you are ensuring that the sports fans at least have what they have in their living room, that’s why we have the big scoreboards so that we can provide the replays. But all of the technology is enhancing that unique experience once again. Many of our clients that we’re working with here in the U.S. and obviously also in Australia - where we’ve already deployed a whole Wi-Fi system in the seating bowl so patrons can use their smart devices, mainly mobiles as most places don’t allow tablets.

Sorry for interrupting you but most mobile phones nowadays have 3 or 4G connectivity, why do we need the Wi-Fi for that? It’s a simple numbers game, the average 3g or 4g tower only has a certain amount of bandwidth, right? Depending on the manufacturer, depending on the provider and depending on the country. They can only provide “X” amount of devices with content at any single time and I don’t know if you have been to a large sporting event in the last year but if you try to get on your phone to look up something on the internet, chances are it won’t work.

“What separates us from others is that and it’s known in the business that we are covering a full venue technology service.”


That’s true, absolutely! I want to focus now more on the collaboration combination between Cox and WJHW at the moment which is obviously something special.

Well what I see from Cox is that they are as a team the first architect who is working in this field who really have put a primary focus on this technology and are really pushing it as as main component for venues – whether its stadia, arenas or exhibition centres in fact. . Along with pushing their strengths in design and creativity and architectural splendor as they always offer especially when you check out their portfolio and see that they have really done some spectacular buildings. So now they are overlaying all of that wonderful know-how, gained through their projects, with a heavy technology component and we are their primary partner globally. Their region right now is largely Oceania and Asia with a number of projects in the middle east but we are tracking and pursuing several projects as a partner with them and they are highly leveraging our skills set and showing how to integrate these technologies better into the architectural fabric. It’s a unique approach and frankly nobody in the U.S. or Austral-Asia I’ve seen is offering a similar approach. Take the Dallas Cowboys budget that is allocated to technological improvements for their facilities or the new Meadowland stadium in

Interview with Josh Beaudoin about venue technology

Lusail Arena, Doha, Qatar

New York it even had more spending than Jerry Jones’s building. So it’s happening but the architecture firms aren’t pushing that as something that the owners should see as being vitally important, it’s still kind of a side piece. What separates us from others is that and it’s known in the business that we are covering a full venue technology service. We’re doing the telecom data, we’re building the network, we’re doing the Wi-Fi, we’re doing the distributed antenna system, and we’re doing the sound systems, the video boards, the audio visual, the advertising. Basically everything is designed under one roof. Most architects would hire two to five firms to do everything that I just described to you! We offer great benefits by us bundling our services with the bespoke services Cox is offering to a stadium operator or club for example. Firstly we can decrease their overall costs as we address inefficiencies and secondly

there is a lot less coordination issues on the project and possibility of mistakes, as it all comes out of one collaborating hand! This is because we don’t have eight people trying to put eight different separate systems together at the end of the project. We’re designing one converged technology system, we did that at the Dallas Cowboys, we did that at Meadowlands and now we’re doing it for the San Francisco 49ners building, the Adelaide Oval and Sydney Cricket Ground.




COX Architecture Level 3, 107-109 Flinders lane Melbourne VICTORIA Australia 3000 Contact: Alastair Richardson Phone: +613 9650 3288 email: Online:


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