ESSMA Development & Operations Workshop: the Highlights

This year’s ESSMA Development & Operations Workshop took place in the brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Over 90 ESSMA members from 16 countries joined us for our biggest workshop to date. During the two-day workshop, participants got the chance to share their knowledge about ongoing stadium development projects and enjoyed presentations on topics covering multifunctional use, playing during renovation, community use and integrating technology in new venues. 


Day 1 

Participants were welcomed at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a networking lunch and had a chance to watch the Tottenham Hotspur grounds team in action as they were preparing the switch to the stadium’s unique NFL pitch.


Jon Babbs – Stadium Director at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - kicked off the workshop by sharing the journey the club went through from the old stadium to the new, the goals they wanted to achieve with the new stadium, the new facilities that were integrated and how this large redevelopment project has positively influenced both the fan experience and day-to-day operations.  In addition, Tom Jones - Senior Principal at Populous & Project Architect for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – followed up Mr. Babbs’ presentation with an in-depth look at the design concept of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and explained how this new, world-class venue has really redefined the stadium experience for the club’s fans.  


In January 2020, the ESSMA Summit will take place in the Groupama Arena in Budapest. Participants of the ESSMA Summit will also have the opportunity to join an optional site-visit to the new 68.000-seat Ferenc Puskas stadium. The national stadium is scheduled to open in November and will host 3 group stage matches and 1 quarter-final match of the EURO 2020 tournament. Barnabas Szigethy – Project Manager of the new Ferenc Puskas Stadium – gave us a preview of what fans and visitors can expect from the new stadium and its legacy. 


The final presentation on Day 1 focused on Feyenoord City. Jan Van Merwijk – Stadium Director at Feijenoord Stadium – provided insights on the challenges the club faced in funding and designing a new home for a traditional club that could live up to the legendary atmosphere of “De Kuip”, while offering modern facilities that can make it a venue with year-round use. The new project is not just about building a new stadium, it is meant as a catalyst for urbanisation and regeneration. It includes a redevelopment of “De Kuip” and the whole “Strip” between “De Kuip” and the new stadium with a strong focus on the local community. 


As a wrap-up of the presentations on day 1, ESSMA presented the first results of its “Hospitality Survey” and discussed some of the results with our panel of architects - including Populous, IDOM, HOK and SCAU - who were able to share their own opinions and experiences in the field of stadium development and hospitality designs.


Day 1 concluded with a guided tour of all the facilities at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium including the control room, hospitality areas, NFL facilities, media zones, changing rooms and more. In addition, participants got a chance to see the football pitch under indoor lighting as it was rolled into the garage to prepare the NFL pitch.  


Day 2

Juan Iraola - Head of Digital Transformation at Real Sociedad – kicked-off Day 2 of our workshop with a presentation on the redevelopment of Estadio Anoeta. He talked about the challenges of playing during a renovation-process and their project to integrate several new technologies at the renewed Anoeta. The new facilities in combination with the new technologies will make the Anoeta a modern venue with a unique fan experience.


Javier Davila – Business Development Manager at IDOM– shared insights in the redevelopment project of San Mamès and IDOM’s bid for FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou redevelopment project. He used examples from both projects to illustrate his top-10 takeaways for stadium redevelopment projects, which can serve as guidelines for clubs who want to renovate their stadium.


Patrik Meyer and Moritz Schneider – Managing Director and Business Development Manager at Commerzbank-Arena respectively – talked about the multifunctional use of the Commerzbank-Arena and the influence that this has on their operations and revenues. They presented five infrastructural necessities for any stadium that strives for multifunctional usage and shared their experiences after more than 10 years of working as a multifunctional venue.


Day 2 of our workshop concluded with a presentation on US Sassuolo’s brand-new MAPEI Football Center, which was inspired by the city’s heritage and the club’s history and was designed to serve as a functional venue for the first team and the youth teams.



Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures.


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Posted on 06/09/2019 in: