ESSMA Stadium Industry Awards: nominees Stadium Development, construction & Renovation category

ESSMA launches the Stadium Industry Awards: These prestigious awards are designed to celebrate and honour the best initiatives in the stadium industry across various categories. Over the past weekend, members could submit their case. In this article, we highlight all nominated projects from the 'Stadium Development, construction & Renovation' category. Discover all the cases below and cast your vote now! The winners will be announced at our ESSMA Summit 2024during an award ceremony at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam. 

Cast your vote here 

Nominees in the Stadium Development, construction & Renovation category

1. Renovation project stade de la Meinau - Racing club de Strasbourg, France

Challenge: The project addresses the urgent issue of reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry, which accounts for 40% of global carbon emissions. Racing Club de Strasbourg's Stade de la Meinau renovation focuses on upcycling and reusing Airbus A340 fuselage components as Brise Soleils for the new south stand. The challenge is to demonstrate that large-scale upcycling in architecture is technically feasible and cost-effective, contributing to a significant reduction in the stadium's carbon footprint.

Initiative: The initiative involves the upcycling of 98 aluminium Brise Soleils from Airbus A340 fuselage, which are repurposed for the stadium's façade. This innovative approach seeks to reduce both embodied and operational carbon emissions. By using upcycled materials, the embodied carbon footprint is minimized, as only painting and installation are required. The upcycled Brise Soleils also enhance the stadium's comfort, reducing the need for mechanical systems, which, in turn, lowers operational carbon emissions. This approach is innovative as it incorporates materials from another field into architecture, reducing carbon emissions while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

Innovation & Inclusivity:

  • The technical innovation lies in connecting fuselage portions into a large-scale façade system, combining aeroplane parts with architectural design.
  • The project demonstrates the financial viability of large-scale upcycling, achieving cost savings of 25% by optimizing connection details, logistics, and procurement processes.
  • The initiative reimagines transportation, stocking, and installation timing to make upcycling financially competitive.

This initiative showcases the ability to implement upcycling on a significant scale within budget constraints, reducing both environmental and financial costs, making it a standout example of innovation and sustainability in architecture.

2. Event dock and floodlight construction - Friends Arena, Sweden

Challenge: As a multifunctional arena which hosts a lot of events, Friends arena needs to be equipped for all types of concerts, conferences, seminars.... 10 years after its construction the stadium has started to be in need of an upgrade to meet modern requirements.

Initiative: Stadium productions/concerts are getting bigger and heavier every year. Stadium shows went from a stand-alone singer on stage to a full show with moving stage, more lights and gigantic screens of the artist. All of which take bigger spaces and heavier loads. To meet these requirements, Friends Arena constructed an event deck that can hold up to 200 ton instead of 60 ton. This construction was placed and gives friends arena the possibility to organise events and concerts while saving the grass due the stage being of the grass. At the same time, a new floodlight was installed to meet the new requirements from UEFA but can also be used as a show light for the concerts.


  • Friends arena are now a top arena, after including the possibility to increase the load baring capacities in the roof in combination with having a retractable roof has made the arena as Beyonce said "the best and biggest nightclub in the world".
  • The changes raise the capacity of spectators by 9000 more and increase the revenue for the stadium.

3. Implementation of connectivity network - Manchester United, England

Challenge: Manchester United, a legendary football club with a massive global fanbase, faced a challenge at Old Trafford. The historic stadium's outdated infrastructure offered poor mobile reception, no Wi-Fi, and outdated operational processes. This disparity between the club's rich history and the lack of modern fan experiences needed to be addressed.

Initiative: To bring Old Trafford into the 21st century, Manchester United partnered with Extreme Networks to deploy an advanced in-stadium network. This initiative involved rolling out a Wi-Fi 6 network with over 1,600 access points, making it the largest installation of its kind in the UK. More than 90 miles of cable were laid, and seating arrangements were adjusted to provide fans with optimal access. The new network supports modern fan experiences, including digital signage and mobile ticket scanning. Fans can now enjoy reliable Wi-Fi access, stay connected through social media, and use the Manchester United mobile app for updates and navigation.

Innovation: This initiative is innovative in bridging the gap between a rich history and modern technology. It empowers the club to use analytics for fan engagement, including more inclusive solutions for vision-impaired fans. The network offers room for growth and innovation, enhancing in-stadium experiences and positioning Manchester United on the cutting edge of stadium technology.

Results: Key results include deploying 1,600 wireless access points and covering 71 miles (115km) of cable. In one of the first games after the deployment, the Wi-Fi network supported 19,181 concurrent users and accommodated 25,285 unique devices. Peak network bandwidth reached 2.96Gbps inbound and 0.950Gbps outbound. This initiative successfully modernized Old Trafford's fan experience and created a foundation for future technological advancements. The club gains a lot of insights and analytics to increase fan engagement and help the operations team with real-time insights.

Cast your vote here 

Posted on 01/12/2023 in: