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Wembley transformation: from FIFA World Cup friendly to Title Fight to Concert


Sports sector stalwarts Arena Seating and Terraplas Plc played a vital role in this week’s transformation of Wembley Stadium from FIFA World Cup warm-up game on May 30 to Super Middleweight Title Fight on May 31, followed by a quick reconfiguration for this weekend’s trio of sold-out One Direction concerts.



The title re-match was one of the toughest turnarounds in the stadium’s history: with it being just 24hrs before the England v Peru game. After the 90,000 football fans vacated the premises the venue needed to be completely reconfigured. This included laying Terraplas’ turf protection system onto the pitch, building the ring, and installing the temporary seating, which was completed by Arena Seating who had been contracted by promoters Matchroom to provide 8,456 flat tip-up seats, 908 of which were ringside.



Originally expecting to sell around 35,000 tickets, over 80,000 were sold in the end, making it the biggest boxing match in British history, smashing the previous record of 70,000 attendance for 1933’s heavyweight bout between Jack Doyle and Jack Petersen.



Martin Clark, Project Director at Arena Seating – part of global event services company, Arena Group – commented:

This was a relatively straight forward job equipment wise, but the turnaround is one of the tightest we’ve ever had to work to. We had over 50 staff on site, working through the night for the build and the removal, with 8×40’ trucks delivering equipment. The timing of vehicle movements and installation needed to be precisely scheduled along with other suppliers.


With all of the additional tickets sold, the floor plan changed numerous times to accommodate the extra seats and comply with all access, egress and fire safety regulations. There was no room for mistakes as we worked to the carefully detailed seating manifests.



The removal had to be completed within a tight overnight timeframe to allow for the reconfiguration of the stadium in preparation for super group boy band One Direction, who will play their three sell-out gigs to over 250,000 fans this weekend, June 6-8.



You can watch a time-lapse video showing the transformation online at:


Wembley set up for Froch v Groves