ESSMA Summit


#5 Stadium Industry Updates

  • Thursday, 17 August 2017 09:03

Find out what the stadium industry has to show us and what we can expect from the future! 


Partner news

  • STRI Group is hosting its annual Research Day on 20-21 September. STRI consultants will give attendees a guided tour around the STRI research grounds and show partners’ latest trials and technology that will benefit the sport industry in the future. Furthermore, attendees have the chance to network with fellow industry professionals.



Technology news

  • Manchester City launches SkillCity, an interactive app with the aim to help develop the talents of young players across the US. The four challenges will allow boys and girls between the age of five and 14-years-old to test their speed of movement, ball mastery, finishing and passing – ranking themselves against their friends and Manchester City players. 


  • Fox Sports partnered up with Livelike to create a social VR experience for its viewers. Traditionally, VR has been an individual experience, particularly when users strap on a headset. Fox Sports and Livelike sought to let viewers of the Gold Cup watch together online and interact with one another.



  • At Comerica Park, home of The Detroit Tigers, with the aid of a fingerprint scanner, fans can skip the line. To use the biometric system, fans must register their fingerprints, which is free. To sign up, which takes about five minutes, fans need their ID and to correctly answer a series of questions and finally scan all 10 fingers.



Stadium news

  • Liverpool fans can now give their opinion on ticket and stadium issues on several fan forums. In September, a group of max. 12 supporters will have their say on the ‘Ticket availability’ and ‘Ticket prices’ forums. For each of these forums, the club is looking for a range of supporters with knowledge and experience of these issues and who are also able to commit to taking part in the forum throughout the season either in person or via video call.


  • Arsenal Football Club's 60,000-seater stadium in North London has become the first Premier League stadium to source 100% of its electricity needs from renewables, after the club extended its supplier deal with Octopus Energy. While the deal with Octopus Energy makes Arsenal the first Premier League club to switch to 100% renewables to power a stadium, the club has previously implemented various sustainability initiatives at the ground in Ashburton Grove.



  • The FA has announced that they intend to bid for the right to host the 2021 Women's European Championship. In last month's Euros 2017, the Lionesses made it until the semi-finals against the Netherlands. The bid comes as the FA look to grow the number of women taking up football in England by 2021, when they hope that the number of participants will have doubled across the country. 


  • As of the start of the 2017/18 season, pitch patterns are prohibited in the English Premier League. Rules state that the playing surface must contain no markings other than the traditional horizontal and white lines. Pitch patterns and designs will therefore no longer be allowed in the EPL.





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The first edition of the DFL’s ‘Bundesliga Football School’ offered 100 talented Israeli youngsters the chance to train with a team of international professionals during the five-day training week on 22-27 July. Head of the project, Birger Naß, and ESSMA Advisory Committee member, can look back at a successful debut.


After last year’s positive pilot project, ESSMA League Member DFL launched its first international ‘Bundesliga Football School’ on the training grounds in Shefayim (Tel Aviv, Israel). The youngsters, boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17, were trained by experienced coaches from both the Bundesliga clubs and the Israel Football Association (IFA). During the training week, they did not only focus on the football aspect such as technique and game tactics but also on topics including fair play, mental preparation and nutrition.


The coaches with delegates from Bayer 04 Leverkusen, SV Werder Bremen, the German Football Association (DFB) and the IFA evaluated and assessed the young players according to the Bundesliga youth training center norms. Six players received gold certificates, which in Germany would ensure them a place in a Bundesliga youth training center. While 34 players were awarded with a silver certificate, meaning that they are very close to the level of proficiency of talented young players in Germany.


Given the overwhelming success of the event, there was unanimous support for organizing another "Bundesliga Football School" in Israel next year.



Watch the aftermovie



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ESSMA welcomes new league members Eredivisie CV (Association of Eredivisie clubs) and CED (Cooperation of first division clubs) to its extensive network of stadium professionals. Through the membership of both leagues, all associated clubs will be part of ESSMA’s community.

Throughout the 2017-2018 season, ESSMA will closely work together with Dutch football clubs to optimize commercial stadium exploitation and fan experience by co-organizing workshops, contributing in research and content creation and individual support. Within this partnership, KNVB Expertise will play an important role to achieve the projected outcomes.


Eredivisie CV – Association of Eredivisie clubs 

Eredivisie CV, founded in 1956, is the association dealing with the common interests of all Eredivisie clubs, both at national and international level. Their mission is to promote the quality of football in the Netherlands under one common name.

The Dutch Eredivisie consists of 18 professional teams, Feyenoord Rotterdam being the 2016-2017 Championship winner.


“We are glad to become part of ESSMA which will enable us to learn from their network while at the same time giving us the opportunity to share our expertise and best practices with other ESSMA Members. In addition, we’re confident it will help us in working on one of our focus points for this season: Stadium and fan experience.”

Jacco Swart, CEO Eredivisie



CED – Cooperation of first division clubs     

The Cooperation of first division clubs (CED), founded in 1999, exploits the media rights and sponsor rights for the benefit of the clubs in the Dutch first division (Jupiler League).

The Jupiler League comprises of 20 clubs. VVV-Venlo ensured promotion last season by topping the 2016-2017 league table.


“We’re looking forward to this partnership with ESSMA and help the clubs improve their products and services. It is great to add the knowledge and expertise of foreign competitions by ESSMA to the support for Dutch clubs that we already work on with KNVB Expertise. It helps to accelerate growth within our strategy “opportunity for development.”

Marc Boele, Director CED




KNVB Expertise

KNVB Expertise is a joint initiative consisting of Eredivisie CV, CED, KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) and FBO (Federation of Paid Football Organisations). Their aim is to professionalize Dutch (paid) football in terms of development. They have four core expertise areas: research, knowledge sharing, education and customized work.


“We are delighted to welcome Eredivisie CV and CED as new ESSMA League Members and look forward working together with the Dutch Eredivisie and first division clubs and KNVB Expertise. Knowledge exchange will act as a cornerstone for this partnership.”

John Beattie, President ESSMA




ESSMA, the European Stadium and Safety Management Association is built around three pillars: Workshops and Events, Business Intelligence and Strategic Support.

ESSMA offers a platform to stadium professionals where they can share, learn and discuss topics related to ESSMA’s areas of expertise: Stadium Development, Operations & Ticketing, Sustainability & Smart Stadiums, Safety & Security, Fan Entertainment & Hospitality and Pitch Management. 




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Stadium Member FC Nantes and Stadium Partner Philips Lighting have worked together to renovate the Stade de la Beaujoire Louis Fonteneau. FC Nantes is the first Ligue 1 stadium which is fully LED equipped with the Philps ArenaVision LED solution.




Before games, the lights can be dynamically changed creating a unique atmosphere. Furthermore, the installation consists of 190 projectors with LED High Power DMX and is according to UEFA/FIFA international regulations.




More info about Philips Lighting



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STRI Group to announce Research Day 2017

  • Thursday, 03 August 2017 10:48

On 20-21 September STRI Group will host its (free) annual Research Day at its headquarters in West Yorkshire.


STRI is the leading global design and consultancy specialist for the development of elite standard sports surfaces. Providing advice and expertise on the research, design, construction and management of both natural and artificial sports fields of play across the world.



The Research Day event is an opportunity for greenkeepers, grounds staff, course managers, superintendents, sportsturf professionals and stadium managers to stay up-to-date with recent pitch developments.


STRI consultants will give attendees a guided tour around the STRI research grounds and show partners’ latest trials and technology that will benefit the sport industry in the future. Furthermore, attendees have the chance to network with fellow industry professionals.






More info about STRI Research 2017




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We are glad to announce The Stadium Consultancy as ESSMA’s latest Corporate Partner.

The Stadium Consultancy’s internationally recognised team of stadium consultants and project managers have been involved in some of the world’s leading venue projects including stadiums for major events such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO and the Olympic Games. With their unique combination of expertise and experience in stadium operations, programming and design, combined with strong project management skills, The Stadium Consultancy distinguishes themselves from other consultants.


We hope to expand and share our services and work together with ESSMA members to assist them with improving their stadium facilities and operations.

Ben Veenbrink, Managing Director The Stadium Consultancy




The Stadium Consultancy is a specialist consultancy company offering a full range of services for the planning, development, operation and management of stadiums and arenas. Their dedicated project managers and stadium consultants are able to guide you through the entire stadium development process, from initial feasibility study and concept design to setting up stadium operations and the training of staff.


The Stadium Consultancy is a great addition to the ESSMA community. With their expertise and knowledge, they will augment member projects.

Dimitri Huygen, Managing Director ESSMA



Projects The Stadium Consultancy has been involved with:

  • UEFA EURO 2012 Project Monitoring of 8 stadiums, Poland & Ukraine
  • Feasibility studies and concept development for several stadiums in Italy, as part of the B Futura programme (i.e. Cagliari Calcio, Pescara Calcio, Vicenza Calcio, Bassano Virtus, Cosenza Calcio)
  • Project management for Al Wakrah FIFA World Cup Stadium (45,000 seats), Qatar
  • FIFA Compliance commissioning for King Abdullah Sports City Stadium (62,000 seats), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Client representative for expansion of Grolsch Veste (30,200 seats), FC Twente, the Netherlands




More info about The Stadium Consultancy



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#4 Stadium Industry Updates

  • Monday, 31 July 2017 08:59

Find out what the stadium industry has to show us and what we can expect from the future! 


Corporate Partner news


  • It’s a busy summer for SIS Pitches who are currently installing the new pitch at Reading FC’s Madejski Stadium. With the new season coming up, the football field is as good as ready to host EFL Championship games again. 



  • In #2 Stadium Industry Updates we mentioned that Corporate Partner Movement Strategies supported HOK with the design of the YAS Arena. The Yas Arena will be the first multi-purpose arena in Abu Dhabi and will be the anchor for the east end of Yas Bay. As the leading people movement consultancy in stadia and arenas, Movement Strategies were able to qualitatively and quantitatively assess crowd movement and visitor experience for the range of intended event modes to optimise visitor experience, operational functionality and build cost.


yas arena


Technology news


  • Two digital tech companies — and BeyondCurious — have teamed up on a way to give sports teams and their stadiums a digital edge in fan experience. The two firms announced their industry-first Sports & Entertainment Digital Accelerator. provides digital tech solutions such as app and API services and a cross-channel content management system. BeyondCurious helps its client organizations incorporate digital solutions into their work through research, design, and strategy. The Accelerator is a six-week program that combines the efforts of’s Digital Fan Experience Platform and BeyondCurious’ CatalystGo service, promising to provide “immediate value and impact to participants through actionable insights, design concepts, prototypes and demos.” The Digital Fan Experience Platform was recently created to help teams foster a closer connection with their fans by incorporating new technologies and using data to increase revenue.




  • English Premier League football club Chelsea has signed Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson to provide free WiFi coverage for supporters at its Stamford Bridge home ground. Under the agreement, Ericsson will become the club’s connected venue partner and will design, build and operate its WiFi system. Chelsea’s home games at Stamford Bridge are regularly sold out, creating a huge demand for a high-speed connection network. Ericsson’s Smart Cell tool will allow masses of fans to connect at the same time and share their experience with friends and family globally.




  • Duke has found a new, innovative piece of tech to protect its athletes. The school announced a partnership with Vital Vio, a company using LED light to kill bacteria and stop the spread of infection. Using White Light Disinfection LED technology, Vital Vio protects against common bacteria like e. coli, salmonella, c. diff and MRSA. The difference between this and other germ-killing UV lighting is it's harmlessness to humans.


  • The Atlanta Braves have built two apps through YinzCam to improve the fan experience and help visitors to the team’s new Battery shop complex better navigate the facility throughout the year. The first app appears in a series of 15 kiosks at The Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use development that includes shops and restaurants and serves as a grand entrance to the Braves’ SunTrust Park. The 55-inch touchscreen kiosks will have maps of the space allowing visitors to virtually explore the Battery. When guests choose a destination, a dotted line will appear on the map providing visitors with real-time directions. Braves fans with tickets on the club levels of SunTrust Park will experience the second YinzCam product in the form of a Suite App that allows them to control the televisions, including changing the channels between a number of live game feeds and on-demand Braves highlights, through a tablet located in each SunTrust Club, Delta SKY 360° Club or Terrace Club suite. 




  • The Drone Racing League (DRL) held its final race of the Allianz World Championship circuit in June at Alexandra Palace. The championship race was the UK’s first professional drone race and featured six of the world’s greatest FPV (first person view) pilots. The popularity of drones means that this may be an event type that arenas could partner with in the future.




Stadium news


  • There is still one more year to go, but the work is underway at Philips Arena in Atlanta that will include a courtside bar as part of a $192.5 million renovation. The bar is the first-of-its-kind-idea courtside and will be located within just a few feet of the action.


  • The Golden State Warriors have announced a unique twist on a traditional PSL program for their new home at Chase Center in Mission Bay in San Francisco. The team is asking for 30-year commitments, calling it a membership program. Similar to a personal seat license, season ticket buyers will be required to pay a one-time fee for the rights to buy their seats for the next 30 years. Also similar to PSLs, buyers can pay a lump sum or finance their payments. The unique twist is that the Warriors will refund 100% of that fee after the 30 years. 


  • Phase Two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena has been given the go ahead by Government at a cost of €24 Million. The project is expected to get underway in the next few weeks and be completed by the summer of 2019. The new area, to the right of the existing athletics and Gymnastics zones will comprise covered synthetic pitch facilities, primarily designed for rugby, soccer and Gaelic games. This phase of the project will include the construction of: indoor pitch for soccer & Gaelic games, which can accommodate a number of sports; a half sized indoor rugby pitch; and ancillary facilities including changing & player rooms, offices and meeting rooms.


  • To continue on Stadium Industry Updates #1 and #2, there are new changed to our Stadium Member Real Betis' home ground during this summer. In mid-2016 the old 'Grada Sul' was demolished and excavation began for its successor. The key goal was to build it within just 270 days (9 months). Opening of the stand for upcoming LaLiga season is safe, which was amply reassured last week, when Betis invited exactly 2,669 season tickets holders to visit the new stand. That's the exact number of people who never missed a game as season ticket holders, so they were rewarded with an exclusive preview and meeting with top officials. The new 'Grada Sul' not only offers over 14,000 seats, it's also the single only grandstand at the stadium to have folding seats. There are also 26 semi-open boxes with 435 corporate seats, which is hoped to boost the matchday revenue. Hidden inside are 102 parking spaces. As seen above, only a portion of the north end is yet to receive new seats. Overall capacity will reach 60,720 when they're installed, which makes Estadio Benito Villamarín the third largest Spanish stadium, at least until Atlético Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano opens in September.




  • Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Minnesota United FC has struck a naming rights deal which will see its new soccer stadium in St. Paul, Minn., become known as Allianz Field. Scheduled to complete construction in time for the start of the 2019 MLS season, Allianz Field joins seven other stadia sponsored by insurance giant Allianz, which are located in some of the most dynamic cities around the world.






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During the ESSMA European Stadium Tour to Russia (2-5 July 2017), one of the stadiums we visited was the future Dynamo Stadium. With the VTB Arena incorporated into the stadium, both venues and its surroundings are part of an enormous project in Moscow and we talked to the Head of Project at VTB Arena Park, Andrei Peregoudov.




What did you want to show the participants of the stadium tour in Russia, when we visited VTB Arena Park?

Since it’s been almost 10 years since it was designed to be what it will become, there was a lot to show the ESSMA tour members. We were very proud and excited to show the progress the whole site has made. So we hope the members of ESSMA Russia upcoming stadiums tour remember at least some characteristic features of our unique VTB Arena Park project. 

Which special features are included in the project and stadium?

Next year, Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in its history, which makes all Russian stadiums steadily turn into places of power, including the most renowned one – the “Dynamo Stadium”. It was closed back in 2008 when all its major structural elements were practically in decline, which made it unsafe to host events. It has been almost 10 years since it was entirely renewed and redesigned to become a futuristic sport arena that is absolutely comfortable and safe both for its guests and event managers, as well as for players from all over the world.

A sport arena with seat capacity and ability to make both contestants and the audience feel comfortable is undoubtedly the most important place in any sport complex. And now, it is precisely convertible arenas which can be switched from a hockey court to basketball court and back again in 2,5 hours that make the perfect choice. Such a sport arena at Dynamo Stadium will be a stage for all the major sporting events, musical and ice shows or box matches, with an option to hold both hockey and basketball matches on the same day.

The ability to tilt stadium platforms, which allows spectators to maximize their viewing angle and makes the switching process even faster is yet another convenient novelty. This was introduced as basketball fans used to have quite a limited view in comparison with hockey enthusiasts’ due to the gap (roughly 5-6 meters on each side) between the basketball hoop and hockey nets. That makes the viewing angle that is comfortable for hockey not relevant for basketball matches, and vice versa. The new design will not only increase the overall comfort level, but also allow for the fine tweaking of the number of seats, providing hockey enthusiasts and basketball fans with 11,500 and 12,800 seats respectively, while the seating capacity for musical concerts expands to up to the limit of 13,000 or 14,000 seats. This will surely please the crowd.

Smartphones are taken into account too, of course, with a special app developed for those who don’t want to waste their time trying to find tickets or standing in a queue of hungry fans to get a hot dog or a bucket of popcorn. This app will not only allow checking the view from the seat of your choice right before buying a ticket, but will also provide a special in-app secondary market in the form of online auction where you can sell one in case you won’t be able to visit the match.

The developers of the site claim that a system of dynamic pricing influenced by a number of factors (i.e. match ratings, traffic density, exchange rates or even weather conditions) will be introduced later.

The same official app will let those hungry for a meal, order food online. You can receive your order right away at a special fast-track counter or simply use a convenient delivery service that will carry it right to your seat. By combining the use of GPS systems with an automatic seat number tracking service, chances of the courier making a mistake are zero. Moreover, every seat will come with an NFC-tag. To put it simple, it will make you neither feel hunger, nor hurt in a queue.

This app will also allow you to call a taxi to your own taste and budget or familiarize yourself with a constantly refreshing section of statistics and information on what is going on both on the sports field and outside.

To sum up, Dynamo Stadium is no stranger to modern developments, and it’s a place where history gets along with cutting-edge technologies.




What will be the hospitality opportunities at the venue?

Dynamo Stadium will have 403 seats in 26 skyboxes, 92 VVIP seats and 2255 club-seats. VTB Arena will have 432 seats in 44 skyboxes, 60 VVIP seats and 2086 club-seats.

Could you tell us what the total project will include? Which areas and facilities will it accommodate?

VTB Arena Park is an integral development project that includes construction of a multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex (VTB Arena and Dynamo Central Stadium), Dynamo Sports Academy, Arena Park Residential Area and Dynamo Sports Park with an average area of 80,000 m2. The project’s total area is about 320,000 m2.




What is the timing of the last construction works?

Dynamo Stadium is hosting a special testing event on 22 October 2017 to celebrate Lev Yashin’s Birthday, with a series of test matches coming afterwards. The official opening of Dynamo Stadium is scheduled for spring 2018.


How many events will take place in the venue each year?

It will be an inspiring result if we reach a figure of not less than 120 events in the venue each year.


What do you think of events like the ESSMA Stadium Tours, gathering stadium industry professionals to exchange knowledge?

Such events are fantastic for the international stadium society to exchange knowledge, experience, patterns, etc. Moreover – it is also good to establish fruitful personal relations and contacts. We were happy to provide such opportunities for participants of the ESSMA Russia stadium tour.





Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures of our European Stadium Tour.


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From 29 August to 1 September, ESSMA will organise its Global Stadium tour to several venues in Miami and Minneapolis. Patrick Talty will show participants around the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Recently, ESSMA interviewed Patrick Talty, General Manager at the U.S. Bank Stadium about the day-to-day operations. 



What are your day-to-day duties at U.S. Bank Stadium on match days and non-match days?

On non-match day, I am responsible for the overall operation of the facility from cleaning, security, maintenance, and marketing. As General Manager of the stadium I work in conjunction with the owners of the facility, the primary tenants of the stadium the Minnesota Vikings, and the City of Minneapolis in making decisions related to the operation of the stadium. I really value the importance of building a successful team from the ground up and I make sure that I meet all our potential full-time staff during the interview process.

On match day, I spend a lot of time walking around the stadium ensuring that our service expectations are being met by the staff, and making sure all the processes we’ve put in place are going as planned. I’m always looking for more efficiencies and service excellence on our match days. Rewarding employees that are going above and beyond is something that we work hard to do at U.S. Bank Stadium, so I’m always keeping my eye out for that employee that’s going above and beyond and providing great customer service. I check the windows at the main entrance to the stadium before every major event to make sure they’ve been cleaned from at least 15 feet down; good customer service starts from the moment the guest walks in and we want their experience to be perfect right from the start.


"Employee engagement is key to providing great customer service, we have developed a comprehensive employee rewards and recognition program."



How large is the team you work with?

47 full-time managers and a total of 75 people when you include our full-time cleaning and maintenance staff. On match day, it requires roughly 3,000 people to run the stadium.


The stadium opened last year, on the same location. How did that impact the whole operation?

Well, the advantage to building on the same site from a traffic perspective was that people already knew how to get to the stadium and they knew where their parking would be. Being on the same site in an urban setting is restrictive in that you only have so much space to build. Hiring the building the management team began well before the construction was complete so you had to put a lot of processes and plans together without having seen how the building operated, which can be a challenge.


Was there specific training for the staff, in order to prepare them for the new stadium?

You start with an all new staff because there was no carry over from when the previous stadium was there, the training to prepare staff for a new stadium was very extensive from wayfinding and directional, to policy and procedures. Everything was completely brand new training.


The stadium has some exclusive hospitality areas, can you give some examples of the hospitality offers?

We have seven different premium areas, and each of them have unique offerings that are specific to that space. One focuses more on the fantasy football fans, there’s another club that is geared towards a very corporate client and feels geared towards a business professional. The food and beverage offerings vary, some of the premium offerings are all-inclusive and some are a la carte. The variety of premium areas allows the patrons to make the experience what they want. In addition to the 7 clubs we have a full complement of private suite options ranging in sizes and levels, including suites that are right on the pitch. These all offer high-end food and beverage options that allow for the suite owner to pick foods and beverages that suits them.


"I really value the importance of building a successful team from the ground up and I make sure that I meet all our potential full-time staff during the interview process."


At our previous USA tours we saw that the ‘American experience’ is quite different than what we are used to. Can you present the different SMART/Technology aspects at U.S. Bank stadium to further improve fan experience and engagement?

We have a complete WIFI and DAS system which allows fans to stay connected to their mobile devices from anywhere in the stadium at all times. We’ve ensured that the bandwidth for patrons to use can handle the volume guests at our major events. All our TV’s are connected through an IPTV system, this allows us to customize and provide different messaging and entertainment features throughout the building. We also have integrated team and building mobile applications for guests that allow guests to order food from their mobile device, purchase tickets, or find their seat all right from their phone! In addition, the fan facing technology features, there are a lot of back-of-house technology features that allow for efficiencies in our overall operations.


In Europe, we are more and more looking at ways to incentivise both staff and fans. Can you tell us more about how you are working on this?

Employee engagement is key to providing great customer service, we have developed a comprehensive employee rewards and recognition program. This program starts at the top of all organizations that work at the stadium and is filtered throughout the organization. We recognize employees who are living SKOL Service with lapel pins for them to wear as recognition of their great work. Next, we try and surprise our employees with breakfast at work days and small gifts like blankets and scarves, and hot chocolate on cold event days. Most importantly, we have developed a comprehensive training program that all stadium employees go through that focuses on customer service and fan engagement, ensuring that they have the tools they need to be successful.




We will visit the U.S. Bank Stadium during our Global Stadium Tour. Why should ESSMA members join the tour to Minneapolis and Miami: what would you like to show to the delegates or which takeaways would you like them to take home?

The versatility of the U.S. Bank Stadium that allows us to host things such as X Games, concerts, basketball, baseball, football and Soccer – not all stadiums are designed with such diverse events in mind. Along with the versatility of the building, the high-end finishes throughout the entire facility are not limited to just the clubs and suites, high-end finishes are located throughout the stadium even on the main concourse.


One of the criticism fans have is that new venues all look quite familiar to one another and lose their specific atmosphere. We will be able to attend a game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Which kind of atmosphere can we expect?

U.S. Bank Stadium is unique to the Minnesota Vikings, you will know that you’re in Vikings territory when you come to a game here. From the traditions that have been created, to signage, to the food offerings, it truly represents the bold north.


"The fan facing technology features, there are a lot of back-of-house technology features that allow for efficiencies in our overall operations." 



You were at the previous ESSMA Summit in Lyon, France. What did you take with you?

My takeaway for the 2017 Summit would have been the facilities in the United States and Overseas all deal with a lot of the same issues. Facility maintenance, safety, employee engagement are all common themes that you deal with any venue you no matter where you are.


What can we improve to make it a better Summit in 2018 (Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland)?

It seems like there’s a real focus on making it about learning from your peers in the industry and that is really a nice thing to have at a conference. Sometimes conferences have a lot of vendors trying to sell you things, and ESSMA does a good job at making it more about connecting with other stadium managers and industry professionals.



You have worked at several venues in the USA and even in Abu Dhabi. You must have seen numerous stadiums throughout the world. Which one has really made an impact on you and why?

From a historical standpoint, Camp Nou had the most impact on me. It was amazing to me to think of all the history that has occurred in that building and all the passionate fans that have been there. From a crowd atmosphere Stamford Bridge was one of my favorites, it was truly electrifying there.

However, U.S. Bank Stadium wraps the fan excitement into the striking architecture of the facility, creating a memorable match day experience and is quickly becoming of my favorite stadiums.



More information about the Global Tour


Go to our Flickr account for pictures about the ESSMA Summit 2017 in Lyon. 


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This year’s European Stadium Tour from 2 to 5 July was held in Russia where several venues in Moscow and Saint Petersburg were visited.


Day 1

On Day 1 participants had the opportunity to go to the third place playoff FIFA Confederations Cup game between Portugal and Mexico at Spartak Stadium (Otkritie Arena), which Portugal won by 2-1.


Day 2

The first stadium we visited was VEB Arena. The CSKA staff showed participants around the stadium and provided more information about the project’s ideology to create a business oriented stadium and about the new business center. VEB Arena is home to CSKA Moscow and has a capacity of 30,000 seats. Construction started in 2007 and finished in 2016 with $350 million being invested in the project. Other facilities integrated in the stadium are: an office center, hotel, premises for sports leisure sections and retail as well as a museum with the club’s history.




In the afternoon of Day 2, Andrew Penkin, Stadium Manager of the Russia 2018 LOC, led participants around the Luzhniki Stadium. Luzhniki Stadium has a rich history of major sports and cultural events; the FIFA World Cup 2018 final will be played here. Furthermore, most games of the Russia national football team are being played at the stadium and in the past Luzhniki Stadium has been home for Moscow's Spartak, CSKA and Torpedo. It also hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics. $340 million has been invested in the Luzhniki Stadium, which has been under construction since 2013 to increase the capacity to 81,000.




 Day 3

During Day 3 in Moscow, VTB Arena was the first stop of the day. The VTB Arena Park staff showcased the construction of the multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex as well as a tour around the venue. When the stadium is finished, the home games of FC Dynamo will be played here and it will have a 33,000 seats capacity. With a $1.6 billion investment, the Arena Park will also have a multi-sports hall (for basketball and ice hockey).




After a Federations Cup game on Day 1, during Day 3 ESSMA members had the opportunity to learn more about the Otkritie Stadium project. Alexander Atamanenko, Commercial Director of Spartak Moscow, showcased the Otkritie project with an extended stadium tour. Otkritie Arena (Spartak Stadium) is home to FC Spartak Moscow and the Russian national team. In 2010 reconstruction started and it finished four years later. Around $430 million was invested in the project. Its design takes the form of chain mail consisting of hundreds of little diamonds representing the Spartak logo.




Day 4

The last venue visited during the Russian tour was the Krestovsky (Saint Petersburg) Stadium in Saint Petersburg. The FC Zenit staff showcased the Krestovsky project and participants had the opportunity to explore the stadium. The Krestovsky Stadium has a capacity of 68,000. Construction started in 2008 and it's currently still under construction. Between $1.1 and 1.4 billion has been invested in the project. FK Zenit Sint-Petersburg will be the home team once the stadium is completed. The stadium will also host several games during UEFA EURO 2020 as one of the 13 stadiums.




ESSMA’s Stadium Partners Bosch, Dallmeier, Philips, SGL and SKIDATA each handed over a certificate and two Summit vouchers to the host venues as a token for their appreciation.




Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures.



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