The Stadia & Arena 2013 conference completed a successful three days 22-24 May in Istanbul.
Ebru Koksal, Advisor to the President of Galatasaray Sports Club, told the conference how a Turkish Superleague could help Turkish soccer clubs end an over-reliance on TV rights money. Alan Belsoeur, Chairman Stadia Strategic Committee French Football League, identified the same problem in the French League and proposed adoption of best practices in stadium operation to achieve increased attendances and matchday revenues. Agusti Benedito from Barcelona explained the club’s opportunities to develop its arena and stadium in a sustainable manner, a decision made once a century.
The Turkish market for new stadiums and arenas, their finance, design and operation was discussed on day two, including the ownership structure split between government and municipalities and how Turkey is managing its rapid economic growth and bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The event opened with a tour of host venue Ulker Sports Arena, during which designers, suppliers and AEG, the operator, revealed the trade secrets which make the difference between commercial success and failure.
Technical workshops on topics such as revenue maximisation, architecture, pitches and engineering, completed the picture for delegates who visited from as far away as Australia, USA and Nigeria.
The Brazil country focus revealed why the Maracana has taken so long to renovate and how extraordinary the resulting new stadium actually is. Brazilian developers revealed that they are already planning a second wave of stadium building after the FIFA World Cup.
ESSMA members from around Europe, including Turkey, contributed their front-line knowledge of operating stadiums on a day-to-day basis. Disney Institute kept the conference on its toes right up to the last session with interactive sessions to demonstrate its world-leading quality service programme.