Danny Last, an amateur photographer and Brighton fan who has long been documenting football has kicked off a hit Instagram channel ‘stadiums from a plane’. The project started with a “throwaway tweet” back in December, according to Last. He has received photos from Molineux, Anfield and Stamford Bridge, and more local institutions like Grimsby’s Blundell Park and Canvey Island’s Park Lane. The’ve also arrived from South America, Mexico and the United States; most of Europe including Spain, Germany, France, Holland, Portugal, Poland, Croatia, Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Italy and Greece.
The Planning Control Committee at Luton Borough Council has approved planning permission to build the new Luton Town stadium at Power Court. During the meeting, the Development Control Committee was addressed by Luton Town Chief Executive Gary Sweet, and 2020 Developments associates Sean McGrath and Michael Moran who laid out the many benefits that the new stadium would bring to the Club and the community at large.
In his closing remarks, Gary Sweet also demonstrated the Club’s ambition, were the developments to go ahead.
“It would instantly elevate our footballing ambition to another level. If Leicester City in a new surrounding can win the Premier League, then so can we, it will increase our support base and make sure Luton Town are permanently financially viable going forward.”
Workington Council is making new stadium plans key to the council’s bid to be a host for Rugby League World Cup games in 2021 which, if successful, would give an additional boost to the economy and promote sport in the area.
Speaking at a recent Executive meeting, Alan Smith, Leader of the Council said: “This project is all about bringing these sporting facilities into the 21st century. It is a major redevelopment of the area which meets many of the council’s objectives and a smaller proposal would not do this. But this is more than just a stadium. This is about being ambitious for our area and building a community facility which will be used by everyone and inspire the wealth of sporting talent in the area.”
Deputy Leader, Mark Fryer, said: “The project meets the priorities of the council and there is a strong economic and strategic case for it. The quality of it is due to the strong commitment of the partners, including the teams, the NHS and Sellafield, which collectively brings the vision for developing the area and building the great sporting facilities that we have before us today. ”
It is hoped that a planning application can be submitted by the end of January 2019. This has been delayed due to changes to the original design .
Late design changes to accommodate extra office space for workers from Sellafield have increased the estimated cost of the project by £10m, to around £25m. However, the increase in rental income helps to make the whole project more viable. It also meets the council’s priorities to boost the economy of Workington and make it more sustainable by bringing large numbers of workers into the town.
It is estimated the stadium would directly support 400 FTE jobs and 36 jobs indirectly, with a further 345 FTE jobs in the construction phase alone.
A full financial business case with operating and funding arrangements is still being devised and three potential funding models are being considered. The business case will go before council members and are subject to approval. The decisions are also subject to the granting of planning permission (application due Spring 2019). If everything is approved as planned, then construction is due to start in November 2019 with completion in the spring of 2021.
Everton’s financial muscle
Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri told the club’s general meeting that finance for the new stadium would come from a loan of around £350m from the private market, £100m expected from a naming and rights partner, and in the form of equity capital. Moshiri also said he is so committed to seeing the project through that he pledged his own money to assist in construction costs.
The 52,000-capacity St James’ Park will be the centrepiece of Europe’s festival of world-class club rugby on 10 and 11 May 2019. The Challenge Cup final will be played at St James’ Park on the evening of Friday 10 May, with the blue-riband Heineken Champions Cup decider scheduled for the same venue the following day, Saturday 11 May.
The new Tetley’s South Stand at the Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds has opened with a capacity of 2,200 seats and standing 5,500. Built by Caddick Construction over the last 18 months, it replaces the old 1930’s terrace. G&H Building Services designed and installed all mechanical and electrical works as part of its £5 million contract with Caddick Construction.
Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire, has begun life as a ‘logistics hub’ for the car industry – in other words the exciting oval circuit has become a storage car park. A sad end to the track that opened in 2001 and once hosted the British Touring Cars Championship (BTCC) and British GT, could host 52,000 fans and cost £45m to build. The grandstands have been branded an eyesore and will be taken down.
Peter Hardman, the track’s chief executive, said: “We have known for quite a while that things were going to change.
“There are a lot of tracks in the UK and it’s a very hard business to sustain and Rockingham is a very expensive venue to keep operating.”
A couple of dozen miles away the horse jump racing track at Towcester remains closed after financial failure. The management’s foray into greyhound racing has resulted in closure across the board. Various news stories about a purchase and re-opening have as yet come to nothing. The area is expanding its housing footprint and a good bet would be this racecourse becoming the latest residential suburb.
Includes FM strategies for organizational agility and change management
The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has released the latest product of its FM Research and Benchmarking Institute (RBI), the 2018 Operations and Maintenance: Qualitative Analysis Benchmarking Report. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the most recent operations and maintenance benchmarking survey of more than 2,000 individual responses representing 98,000 buildings in 35 industries. Of unique interest in this report is a section exploring facility management (FM) strategies for organizational agility and change management.
“Like the businesses they serve, FM professionals are themselves operating in a perpetual state of change,” said Nickolas A. Rocha, director of RBI. “Benchmarks have always captured a cross section of time to help inform strategic decisions, provide external validation or reveal operational shortcomings. For that reason alone, this report comes through in a big way, covering tools and tactics that define modern FM. On top of that, we’ve taken an extra step to ask FM professionals about their strategies for organizational agility. This analysis offers insights for how FM is thriving in a dynamic environment of change.”
The 2017 Operations and Maintenance Benchmarking Research Report focused primarily on financial metrics, while the Operations and Maintenance: Qualitative Analysis Benchmarking Report provides data from the United States and Canada on practices and tools being used by industry professionals in managing facility services quality. For example, the report describes outsourcing of in-house maintenance needs and preventive maintenance plans.
The report includes data-based insights that can translate into operational guidelines for:
- Solid waste diversion
- Legislative mandates
- Energy management
- Green janitorial training and programs
- Maintenance management
- Work requests and device usage
- Satisfaction with and perception of information technology services
- Benchmarking plans
- Customer satisfaction survey use and frequency
- Organizational agility
FM professionals will be able to utilize this report to conduct a variety of analyses to determine competitive performance standing and identify best practices in operations and maintenance. The report is available for purchase and immediate download at: bit.ly/ombenchmarks18. The cost is US$325 (US$205 for IFMA members).
Each venue manager will be implementing a 2019 plan of action but the industry as a whole in the UK has some common challenges and opportunities. Here are our top 5 for the coming year:
Fan engagement and education around behaviour
An increase in racist chanting at football has been widely condemned. But its return to the terraces shows that training staff to manage fan behaviour continues to be a priority. The organisations to help are available so venues should reach out to them for training and materials.
Cricket World Cup
The one-day version is in England this year and there are jobs and commercial opportunities to be taken up. Stadium capacities are in good shape and if ticket sales justify it, there will be extra temporary capacity to pencil in. The ECB will be ramping up its technical and operational teams and training up volunteers. Roll on the summer.
The government is on the cusp of bringing in a bottle deposit scheme for takeaway drinks so now is the time to benchmark your recycling systems against the best and to adjust for the coming legislation and change of behaviour amongst fans. And now you can buy green in so many departments, even the pitch. The latest synthetic pitches are being manufactured from CO2 so do your bit for carbon offset.
NFL and MLB in London
The influence of American sports on stadium design in London has been significant, at both Wembley and now White Hart Lane. The sell-out NFL games and fan villages at Wembley show us why. They give the NFL an international presence and wider fan base and the fans spend big at the host venues. The London Stadium hosting MLB is already a success in ticket terms. The venues’ staffs will get great learning experiences which they can take forward into their more regular seasons.
Rugby Premiership investment in facilities
If the Premiership sells a part share in its business, there are already commentators urging the spending of the income on facilities, not on players’ salaries. The wage cap will help. Venue managers need to be ready to get their bids in for training complexes, new non-matchday facilities and fan engagement innovations.
A decision on whether Luton Town can build a new stadium will be made this month, more than two years after the planning application was submitted.
Plans for the Power Court stadium in the town centre, lodged with the council in August 2016, will be considered on 16 January.
A decision on the club’s development at Newlands Park, which will fund the project, will be made on 30 January.
Luton Borough Council said it had had to ensure it was a “robust” process.
Deputy leader, Labour’s Sian Timoney apologised for the delay and said there had been “so many different aspects that have slowed it down”.
“We appreciate this has a been frustrating period for fans, but there has been a lot of information submitted from a range of parties and our priority has always been about ensuring a robust and thorough process is followed,” she said.
The football club, which has played at Kenilworth Road for more than 100 years, wants to build a stadium with up to 23,000 seats, bars, restaurants, a 1,800-capacity live venue, hotel and car park and 550 apartments on the Power Court site.
Stadium for Bath crunch time in 2019
Stadium for Bath launched the final round of consultation on its vision to deliver a new sport, leisure and community-focused destination with a public exhibition in December. The Stadium for Bath project aims to build an 18,000-capacity venue including riverside regeneration, community use and a car park under a raised pitch.
Three sides would come together under a horse-shoe shaped, cantilever roof tapering downwards to reduce the visual impact from the outside, while providing clear views of the pitch and enhancing the atmosphere on the inside.
The Jockey Club has extended its agreement with Keith Prowse as official hospitality supplier at the Investec Derby Festival for an additional five years.
Epsom Downs Racecourse has been a venue for the sport of horse racing since the 17th Century, with the first running of the Oaks taking place in 1779 and the Derby a year later. Since that time the Investec Derby has developed into the World’s Greatest Flat Race and is now part of the unique and vibrant Investec Derby Festival.
Throughout the existing relationship, The Jockey Club and Keith Prowse have been recognised for re-imagining the hospitality offering at Epsom Downs Racecourse, engaging a new, younger audience by creating a clear tiering and pricing strategy and introducing a brand-new concept, The Winning Post. This contemporary offering which also hosts the official hospitality after-party is located on the inside of the racetrack metres from the finish line. The Winning Post has grown in popularity, regularly selling out in advance of the event, and is firmly recognised as one of the most popular facilities, praised by customers for its memorable atmosphere.
Phil White, Regional Director, London Region, Jockey Club Racecourses said: “The Jockey Club prides itself on staging thrilling sporting occasions including the Investec Derby Festival, one of the greatest race days and social occasions in the British summer calendar.
“We are pleased to extend our supplier agreement with Keith Prowse for another five years and are looking forward to working together to provide thousands of people with more special experiences through racing, music, food and entertainment.”
Andy Vinsen, Managing Director at Keith Prowse said: “We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Epsom Downs Racecourse and the Jockey Club. We spend significant time researching our guests’ wants and needs as well as benchmarking against wider high street trends and consequently we are bringing the latest in dining concepts to one of the UK’s foremost days out.
“The Festival at Epsom is a pinnacle in the summer season and our entertaining options match the very differing needs of the attendees. It goes without saying that we will carry on innovating over the next five years, mirroring the status of this iconic event while also reacting to the changing demands of our guests.”
There may still be a spark of life in a Bristol arena for the suburbs, but the central Bristol arena, that has been in the works for some years now, won’t be built.
Bournemouth FC decided to put its stadium developments on hold.
The on/off Stadium of Cornwall was finally tackled out of bounds when central government didn’t match local government funding commitments. The attempt to bring professional sports together with local public and education funding faltered.
Brentford doubles up
A number of long-term stadium construction projects are firming up with announcements about the construction teams and the teams to play in them.
Construction of the Brentford Community Stadium is on course to be completed in 2020 and it’ll be a two-sport stadium: The Bees and London Irish will play there from the beginning of the 2020/21 season. The football club will have primacy of use.
Connacht catching up
Connacht Rugby have formally submitted a planning application to Galway City Council for the redevelopment of the Sportsground Stadium.
The planning application comes after a detailed design process and extensive public consultation carried out in conjunction with technical advisers.
The submission coincides with the official launch of the Government’s Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund which opened last week.
The Sportsground redevelopment will cost in the region of €30m and the allocation of public funds is needed for the project to go ahead.
Connacht Rugby Willie Ruane chief executive said:
“Following the design phase and extensive engagement and consultation with the public we have now formally submitted our planning application to Galway City Council for the redevelopment of the Sportsground.”
“Since the public announcement of the project in early October we have received widespread support from the public and elected representatives for the development of the stadium and delivery of a high performance training centre.”
Workington Town rugby league and Workington Reds football club are planning a new 8,000-capacity stadium with synthetic pitch. The clubs held a public drop-in event in the first week of December with the planning consultants Iceni who have been appointed by the council to draw up the planning application.
Fulham has hired Buckingham as the main contractor for their new stand along the Thames walk.