ESSMA's history

ESSMA has been around for more than 25 years. We would like to give you an insight into the highlights of our history.

Learn more about the Association's highlights throughout the years.

April 1996

ESMA (European Stadium Managers Association) was founded.

July 1996

First event organised at Stadio delle Alpi.

July 2008

After the unfortunate passing of ESSMA's founding father, Lionel Dreksel. John Beattie takes over the role as ESSMA President

July 2008

Switch from ESMA (European Stadium Management Association) to ESSMA (European Stadium & Safety Management Association).

June 2010

Dimitri Huygen takes on the role as Managing Director to further professionalise ESSMA.

June 2011

Establishment of ESSMA's Advisory Committee and Executive Committee.

September 2012

Launch ESSMA's second logo.

January 2015

First ESSMA Summit at Allianz Arena.

July 2015

Move to our current offices at Stayen, home of STVV.

August 2015

First ESSMA USA tour.

November 2016

Extension ESSMA board during the ESSMA Summit in Lyon.

October 2017

Launch ESSMA Knowledge Platform

January 2019

Switch towards ESSMA's current branding and newest logo.

April 2020

Launch of online ESSMA webinar series.

January 2021

First edition of our largest online event, ESSMA Spotlight.

April 2021

ESSMA celebrates 25th anniversary

Juli 2021

Ludwig Sneyers takes on the role as Managing Director

November 2021

First physical ESSMA Summit after Covid-19 in Turin, Allianz Stadium

May 2022

ESSMA Summit 2022 in Marseille, Stade Vélodrome

March 2023

ESSMA Summit 2023 in Warsaw, Stadion Wojska Polskiego

Most remarkable stadiums of the last years

Up next: Principality Stadium in Cardiff

Principality Stadium, also known as Millennium Stadium, was opened in 1999 and is able to host 73,931 spectators. With their fully retractable roof, their partition drape system and their Desso pitch the stadium is known as a multi-purpose event venue that has been able to welcome over 1.3 million visitors per year on average.

The Welsh stadium has been host to a lot of big sporting events. The Rugby World Cup Final in ‘99, 6 FA Cup Finals, the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final and several other events all took place in Cardiff. With concerts of U2, Robbie Williams, and Madonna it showed why it’s praised for its multifunctionality. Following COVID-19, the stadium even converted to a temporary field hospital to accommodate up to 2000 patients.

What our members say about ESSMA

What is your most memorable ESSMA moment or what is your main raison why you joined the ESSMA Community? Some of you have been a part of ESSMA since 1996, while others joined more recently. Nevertheless, we’re interested to hear more about your best ESSMA memory! Send us your most important ESSMA memory and we'll share it with the rest of the community.

Share your ESSMA moment