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Temporary venues to take centre stage at major events

The Olympics or World Cup could take place entirely in temporary venues in the foreseeable future, delegates at the Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2016 conference and exhibition in Yokohama have been told.

These temporary venues could prove an attractive option for host cities which are looking to cut down on the costs of staging a major games or tournament.

Guillaume Massard, Grandstands and Stadium Business unit manager for GL Events Group said:

Temporary venues are going to become more and more important at future major sporting events. One of the first questions any city should ask is – Do I need this venue after the event? A very important question. If the answer is no, maybe I should go with a temporary venue.

Now you can do anything temporary, maybe in 10 years we will organise an Olympic Games or World Cup with only temporary venues. We need to look to see if we can reuse the temporary venue.

Massard said it is very important to be involved at the earliest possible stage to explore all the benefits a temporary venue can give.

This view was echoed by James Middling, Global Head of Sports and Events for Mott MacDonald. He said:

As hard as it is for me to admit this as a consulting engineer, we need to engage with contractors. Early contractor involvement on all these venues is going to mean it is buildable and it can be taken down.

You also need to consider how you pay that contractor to come back and take it down. How can you incentivise him to want to take those materials back and reuse them. So contractor buy-back schemes or rental need to be considered at the beginning. If it is a rental, is there capacity in the market?

Middling said that the industry needs to work harder to make these temporary venues more reusable, if not as a whole then in their component parts.

As an industry we’re quite embarrassed that we don’t do it. The basketball arena (from the London 2012 Olympics) is a great example where we designed something that looks very, very elegant and then it goes and gets taken down and put into a skip.

On the flip side, he said the temporary shooting venue from London 2012 was an example of how things had worked well. He said:

The shooting venue we worked on with ES Global was infinitely dismantlable and that was the first venue that went from one major games to another – the London Olympics to Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – it only went up the road but it shows an example of what we should be seeking to do more of. Solve a problem with what someone has already solved a problem with before. With that venue knowledge you know it will work, it’s guaranteed, it’s pre-tested.

Image courtesy LOCOG