Over 300 industry professionals will assemble at the at The Westin Hotel & Spa, Doha (Qatar) from 16 to 19 May to discuss the new market developments and challenges in the stadium industry. 

I have been lucky enough to participate to the first USA Fan Experience Tour with ESSMA last September with my ESSMA Corporate Member Representative hat. The program was both intense and exhaustive. Within 5 days, we were to visit seven remarkable sporting venues in both New York and Dallas and despite the hectic schedule; a handful of courageous participants I was not part of, found time to go for a run each time they could.

Feyenoord has been an active ESSMA member for quite some time now. To get a better understanding about how they deal with pitch management at De Kuip, we had an interview with Erwin Beltman, head groundsman and two-time winner of the VVSC Pitch competition in the Netherlands. 

On Wednesday the 28 of October, the ESSMA staff was invited to explore the new training complex and the recently developed stand at SV Zulte Waregem.

Following the research a Belgian newspaper conducted on Belgian stadium infrastructure, ESSMA presents a case study focusing on Belgian stadium development. Since the completion of the Ghelamco Arena of KAA Gent, some major changes have been made.

For this first time, ESSMA organized a Fan Experience Tour to the USA from 2-7 September. A delegation of 23 stadium experts visited 7 venues in New York and Dallas. The technical stadium visits and presentations were enriched with 2 match day experiences, enabling the participants to see how fan entertainment is managed in practice. 

ESSMA conducted a case study on French stadium infrastructure following the ESSMA Stadium Tour in France (2-4 June) which brought the participants to some of the EURO 2016 host venues. This study is carried out in order to inform the ESSMA members/partners and all input used comes from members and previous studies completed by ESSMA. 

In the beginning of February, FC Zenit was the first club to try out the new ESSMA ‘Join the ‘X’ Manager’ programme. This practical educational programme is all about one-on-one education where stadium professionals can experience match day preparations with other peers (equal professionals in comparable stadiums) in order to increase their management knowledge.
 Hosts for this programme were Emirates Stadium (Arsenal FC) and Etihad Stadium (Manchester City).

Sports Venue Business

Sports Venue Business (SVB) is the only platform dedicated to providing an access-all-areas pass to the sector’s key influencers and decision-makers, with information delivered via media-rich formats, from videos and case studies to beautifully illustrated featured articles and in-depth interviews.

The portal acts as a gateway to sector-driven news and views, from job and procurement opportunities and details on the latest venue developments, including tenders and design competitions, to the hot topics and best practices affecting the industry. Thanks to SVB’s high quality, in-depth content, the website achieves more than 4.3K visits a month, which accounts for more than 13.1K page views.

The platform is further complemented by our free Weekly e-News Report, which delivers Industry Interviews, Featured Articles, videos and the latest news directly to some 10,500+ named, high level industry execs around the world.

Further global exposure is secured via our Sports Venue Business group page on LinkedIn, which boasts more than 1,230 high calibre industry professional members; through our Facebook page that has received nearly 5,000 ‘likes’; and via Sports Venue Business Founder & CEO, Katie McIntyre’s Twitter feed (@KatieMc123), which secures 50K impressions a month.

The offering is rounded off with the SVB Industry Directory, which puts the details of the top sports architecture & design practices, engineering firms & contractors, producers & suppliers, conference & trade show organisers at the fingertips of the end-users. And venues are eligible for free listings, in which they can highlight their key amenities and upcoming developments.






Before the start of the ESSMA Training Center Tour, Lorenzo Santoni, head of B Futura at Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie B,  visited the Ghelamco Arena. We were welcomed by the commercial director of KAA Gent, Patrick Lips.