Football is one of the biggest industries in the UK, generating billions of pounds of revenue every year. As a result, the UK hosts some of the most famous stadiums in the world and clubs are progressively looking for ways to improve their facilities and give their supporters a better experience.
Building new stadiums is one way of achieving this, however, choosing to construct a new stadium is not always simple and often involves significant financial risk.
New stadiums and developments
Clubs are looking to either construct brand new stadiums or develop existing stadiums to include modern features and technologies. Both strategies aim to entice spectators and increase revenue, with the end goal to increase ticket sales, merchandise sales and concessions.
As well as increasing revenue with new fans, clubs look to improve the overall fan experience. Modern stadium developments include the newest amenities and technology to give fans a fun, comfortable and unique experience. This can involve features like superior sound systems, quick WiFi and comfortable and accessible seating arrangements. New stadiums or renovations also implement features like CCTV cameras and secure entry spots for safety and security. A recent example is Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium (newly built and opened in 2019) which has top of the range facilities and technology including:
- 1,000 square metre of TV screens
- 1,600 wireless access points
- State-of-the-art bar (draught beer fills from the bottom)
- Cashless stadium (for safety purposes)
Additionally, football clubs can host a variety of events at their stadiums, making them multi-use spaces. Stadiums can be used for events other than football games, such as concerts, festivals, and even business meetings. For instance, the NFL, rugby, and music events have all taken place at Tottenham Hotspur’s brand-new stadium in North London. In a deal signed by the club, the Tottenham Hotspur stadium can host up to 16 non-football events per year. This increases the stadium’s value as a community asset and as an investment for the team. It helps boost the tourism in the local area as well as attracting new sports to the country, like the NFL.
There is a lot to look forward to regarding stadium development, there will be exciting changes for sports fans especially in London. There will be installation of a nine-hole golf course at the grounds of Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby. Also, the winner of the Ryder Cup Justin Rose will design the course, which is anticipated to be ready by the summer of 2023.
There is also a plan for the construction of an F1 circuit at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The track will be used to host an annual F1 race, which is estimated to generate substantial financial benefits for the club and the surrounding tourism industry. It’s exciting to see how sports venues are going beyond their standard offerings and giving supporters fresh, cutting-edge experiences.
Chelsea FC’s new stadium plan
Chelsea Football Club has been developing plans for a new stadium for several years. The new stadium’s capacity would be increased to 60,000 seats and would be built at the Stamford Bridge ground after the old stadium’s demolition. The new stadium is set to feature modern facilities for fans, athletes, and employees, as well as a range of catering and entertainment choices similar to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. The project, however, has encountered a number of difficulties, including opposition from locals and legal conflicts with nearby property owners. Despite these obstacles, the team is still committed to the endeavour and is convinced the new stadium will go ahead and be ready by 2030.
The fan experience is crucial in determining the success of a sports team and their new stadium. With the increase of new stadiums being built , clubs are realising the importance of fan experience. With fan expectations changing, the need to impress loyal fans and bring in new ones is becoming difficult. Clubs are lining up to renovate or build new stadiums. The ultimate goal is to create a unique atmosphere and unforgettable experience for fans. This can create a sense of community and excitement for fans. By ensuring and prioritising fan experience, clubs can build a loyal fanbase whilst generating a sustainable revenue.
Wanting to understand how the fan experience is set to increase? Read all about fan engagement and how it will impact sports organisations.