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New ESSMA Report: Hospitality 2021

As fans are returning to stadiums across Europe, hospitality features are equally welcoming visitors back.

One question rises spontaneously: will the offered experiences be the same? Or what evolutions have occurred, which new ideas came to live? ESSMA investigated, undertook research, and brought interesting insights together in her latest hospitality report!

Download the full report from the Knowledge Platform

83% of clubs have invested in hospitality offerings over the last 3 years

A substantial majority of clubs and stadiums have invested in their hospitality suites over the past years. Stadiums are constantly on the look-out for new, profitable formats, that increase revenue. Differentiating the catering and bringing new food concepts to the stadium is a popular strategy. Emirates Stadium, for example, has an open-flamed pizza oven installed at Dial Square, which impacts the revenue for pizza hugely. One of the main drivers for these investments seems to be the ambition to increase the length of a stadium visit.

55% of hospitality managers believe COVID-19 will impact operations for the years to come

Although every member of the ESSMA-community wishes for COVID-19 to disappear, approximately half of the stadium managers that filled in our survey are convinced there will be an impact to consider for years to come. 82% see an opportunity for digital VIP match day experiences as a silver lining.

Find more survey results in the report

Trend spotted at Emirates Stadium: the rise of the individual client instead of traditional corporates

ESSMA took a closer look at Dial Square and the Avenell Club in Emirates stadium and interviewed Tom McCann, Venue Director. He revealed that there is a remarkable shift in the audience for hospitality packages. It seems the number of business seats held by traditional corporate clients is decreasing, in favor of the individual stadium visitor, who seeks a new experience at the club of his choice. This trend leads to a new marketing approaches and other initiatives you can read about in the report. Download the report and discover more stories on RSC Anderlecht, Royal Antwerp FC, the topic of sensory rooms and survey results.


Borja Gonzales Bilbao from Athletic Club presents “San Mames, gastronomic cathedral” on the ESSMA Summit. 

As hospitality in all its forms and shapes holds a prominent place in stadium operations, this field of expertise will be part of the ESSMA Summit-programme. Borja Gonzalez Bilbao, Chief Business and Innovation Officer will provide insights in the gastronomic plans at San Mames for the near future. Get your ticket at profitable early bird rate now and join us!