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Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs, was recognised with the highest accolade at the The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Structural Awards 2015.

The Singapore Sports Hub, for which Arup was the structural engineer, won the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence. This is the highest accolade of the ceremony and is given at the judges’ discretion, to the project that has distinguished itself from all submissions in 2015, and for being the finest global example of structural engineering design in the year.

The Singapore Sports Hub is home to the world’s largest free-spanning dome of 310 metres, the approximate width of four A380 aeroplanes parked wing to wing. The roof, which covers the 55,000-seat sports stadium, also sets new benchmarks in efficiency of design and material usage, utilising a third of weight of steel normally used in a span of this size.

Andrew Henry, Project Manager, Arup, said:

It is a rare honour to have worked on and led the design for the Singapore Sports Hub – a fantastic project, with contributions from so many talented people. I am elated with the recognition the project and team have received, and am particularly proud of the work Arup has done on the National Stadium roof. Working under intense pressure, the team delivered exceptional technical work with a brilliant outcome. They pushed the boundaries of technology and thoroughly deserve this recognition.

To address the issue of spectator comfort in the tropics, the lightweight dome roof structure was made retractable to provide shade during events, complemented with an energy-efficient cooling system that delivers cooled air to every seat. The stadium was also designed to be highly versatile with movable seating, and is the first in the world that can be adapted to combine the sports of football, athletics, rugby and cricket.

Mike King, Lead Structural Engineer, Arup, said:

The Singapore Sports Hub National Stadium roof structure is the result of the extraordinary vision of the client, the outstanding skills and collaboration between Arup’s sports architects and structural engineers and the expertise of the main contractor and steel subcontractor. We are very proud that the team has received this accolade from the IStructE and to have helped deliver this iconic structure as part of Singapore’s nation building.

The firm was also crowned champions in four other categories: the Award for Sports or Leisure Structures, again, for the Singapore Sports Hub; the Award for Arts or Entertainment Structures for the Vegas High Roller in the USA; the Award for Regional Groups for the SSE Hydro in Glasgow; and the Housing for Low-Income Communities project in El Salvador was presented with the Award for Sustainability.

The IStructE Structural Awards is a platform that highlights outstanding achievements by structural engineers from all over the world.

For more information on the Singapore Sports Hub, home to the last two editions of Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific, visit:

Image Copyright: Arup

Dr Stephan J. Holthoff-Pfoertner, IAKS President, at the opening of FSB 2015

To mark its 50th anniversary, the IAKS has honoured important personalities from five decades of international sports facility development in a special ceremony. An international jury presented the All-Time Award to outstanding sports facilities.

IAKS Hall of Fame celebrates 13 personalities

A total of 12 individuals and Koelnmesse as an organisation have been inducted into the IAKS Hall of Fame. All of them have rendered special services to sports facilities development or the IAKS over the last 50 years.

Honours have gone to Prof. Frieder Roskam, Dr Willi Weyer, Gert Abelbeck, Roswitha Thibes, Ernst Hirt, Dr Pino Zoppini, Prof. Dr Carlos Vera Guardia, Siegfried Hoymann, Werner Krems, Peter Gattermann, Prof. Geraint John, Bill Stonor and Koelnmesse.

IAKS All-Time Award pays tribute to outstanding sports facilities

The IAKS All-Time Award commends outstanding sports facilities of the last few decades not only for their architectural and operative excellence, but also because of the special importance attached to sustainability and social factors.

The award has gone to the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) in Beijing; National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) in Beijing; Olympic Memorial Arena (M-Wave) in Nagano; Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona; Olympic Stadium in Berlin; Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo; Richmond Olympic Oval in Vancouver; and Oberhaching College of Physical Education near Munich.

IAKS celebrates its anniversary

The festivities surrounding the 50th anniversary of the IAKS took place at the beginning of the 24th IAKS Congress during FSB at Koelnmesse.

Dr Stefan Kannewischer is the new President of the IAKS

After 18 years as President, Dr Stephan J. Holthoff-Pförtner (pictured at the top of this story) handed over the reins to Dr Stefan Kannewischer during the IAKS General Meeting on 28 October 2015. The Swiss is Managing Director of Kannewischer Management AG and Kannewischer Collection.

IAKS Awards

The golden envelopes have been opened and the winners announced for the bi-annual IAKS Awards. The jury conferred 3 IOC/IAKS Awards in Gold, 7 IOC/IAKS Awards in Silver and 14 IOC/IAKS Awards in Bronze. 4 projects received the IPC/IAKS Distinction for accessible sports facilities. 

For the IOC/IPC/IAKS Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals the jury selected four winners and awarded 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronzes.

There were 129 entries from 30 countries. IAKS awarded Silver to the Bolshoy Ice Dome (Ruben Reddy Architects & SIC Mostovic), which was a star in Sochi, and to Arena Fonte Nova (Schultz Architekten, Tetra Arquitetura), a host stadium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and to the London Aquatics Centre (Zaha Hadid Architects).

Friends Arena, Beira-Rio Stadium, Stade Leo Lagrange, Bossard Arena, Luanda Multisports Pavilion and the London 2012 Shooting Venue were awarded Bronze.

The jury awarded an IPC/IAKS Distinction to Bolshoy Ice Dome, stating

The venue provides a range of options for disabled spectators visiting the venue. The ramps in particular are useful during egress or when there is an emergency evacuation. This venue sets new standards of accessibility in Russia, providing plentiful accessible toilets and wide easy-to-manoeuvre circulation spaces.

The awards were handed out at a ceremony as part of FSB in Cologne.


PanStadia & Arena Management and Stadia & Arena Events look forward to meeting you at FSB in Cologne in October. Both the magazine and event will exhibit at the event in Hall 10.2, stand A051a. PanStadia & Arena Management is also an Official Media Partner of FSB 2015.

FSB, which is being staged in Cologne from 27 to 30 October 2015, is presenting itself as sustainable, green, playful, attractive and more successful than ever. Around 650 companies from over 45 countries, who will showcase their products and services on an area of 80,000 square meters are expected. As usual, they include the leading national and international industry players from the amenity areas, sports and pools facilities.

FSB hosts the IAKS and awards.

FSB hosts the IAKS conference and awards.

The trade visitors can look forward to a new tone-setting innovation in October. Once again, FSB will take place parallel to aquanale, the International Trade Fair for Sauna, Pool, Ambience, this year for the first time in the modern North Halls of Koelnmesse – to be more precise in Halls 6, 7, 9 and 10.2 of the Cologne fair grounds. With its thematic hall layout, both of the events are offering a clearer overview and an expanded range of products. The synergies, particularly in the swimming pool sector will thus be ideally exploited and interlinked. Decision-makers, operators, architects, planners and landscape architects from both the public and private sectors will find tailored solutions and future-orientated concepts for open spaces and, ultimately for social change in Cologne. The trade fair’s new scheduling outside of North Rhine-Westphalia’s autumn holidays, has received great response from municipalities and companies well in advance, which is expected to lead to increased interest on the visitor side – from both Germany and abroad.

Easy to reach, easy to meet

In order to successfully and sustainably consolidate FSB 2015, the organisers at Koelnmesse, together with the conceptual sponsors and partners, have further developed the fair concept. The new theme-orientated hall layout will lend the trade fair duo even greater momentum and will have an optimal effect on the synergies. As of 2015, exhibitors at both events will benefit from the improved infrastructure in the northern area of the Cologne exhibition grounds. In addition, the modern naturally lit halls provide the optimal transit route to guide the stream of visitors through the fairground’s Boulevard. The Northern Halls connect ideally with Congress Centres North and East. In the future, visitors of the trade fair will enter via Entrance North, which offers numerous parking facilities in the immediate vicinity, as well as Entrance East. Entrance East connects conveniently with the Inter City Express (ICE) train station, the public transport hub “Köln Messe/Deutz” station and the tram station “Koelnmesse”.

The newly developed exhibition concept is specifically targeted to ensure that decision-makers from municipalities and sporting associations, as well as the many international visitors, will have more time for an extensive fair visit and the exchange of information. Parallel to this, in cooperation with national sports and municipal associations, the specialist supporting programme addresses current industry topics in greater depth, with special focus on issues important for municipalities, planners, operators and sports clubs. Throughout the fair, numerous “action areas”, as well as individual trade events complement the offer in the halls. Some of these include the ISS solar skating rink, the “Soccer and More” football field, the “FIBA – World of Basketball” and the “Trampoline Variety by Eurotramp”.

Around 650 companies awaited in Cologne

The companies participating at FSB include among others: Aquarena, Aquadrolics, AST, Berleburger Schaumstoffwerke, Berliner Seilfabrik, Conica, Conradi + Kaiser, Engo, e.s.m Edelstahl, Eurotramp, Fritz Müller, Hamberger, Herculan, HSB Hinke Schwimmbad, Huck Seiltechnik, ISS Solar, Kindt, Klarer Freizeitanlagen AG, Kraiburg, Kübler, Lappset, Melos, Mondo, Patentverwag Italia Srl., Polytan, Raita, Roigk GmbH, Scheidt & Bachmann, SMG, Sport Thieme, Strabag, Tapper & Hollmann, Universal Sport, Wibit Sports, WIBRE Elektrogeräte and Wiegand Mälzer.

DOSB advises on sports facilities

FSB’s partner associations in the field of sports facilities include DOSB (Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund/German Olympic Sports Confederation), Landessportbund NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia Sports Federation), BSI/Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikel-Industrie (Association for the German Sporting Goods Industry) with Gütegemeinschaft Sportgeräte e.V (German Institute for Quality Assurance in Sports Equipment), ADS-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Sportämter e.V. (German Municipal Sports Departments and Sports Associations Working Group) as well as FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and FIBA (International Basketball Federation).

Together with the sports federations of the states of Hessen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Wurttemberg, as well as the Federal Sports Research Institute (Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft), the DOSB will present itself at its own fair stand in Hall 7 once more. Consultation offers for sports facilities will be the focus and include topics like resource-saving modernisation, renovation and new construction of sports centres, as well as concepts for sustainable sports facility management.

Cross-generation public spaces for exercise The new FSB concept and the move to the modern North Halls allow Hall 9 to be used for the first time as a themed hall for the amenity areas, playground equipment and outdoor fitness sectors. Here, numerous national and international exhibitors will present their products, projects and services for the planning and designing of open spaces, specifically organised with concepts such as municipal planning and urban design, areas for play, spaces for exercise, demographic change and mobility in mind. Together with their long-standing partners STADTundRAUM and BSFH (Bundesverband für Spielplatzgeräte- und Freizeitanlagen-Hersteller/Federal Association of Playground Equipment and Recreational Facilities Manufacturers), in addition to attractively designed themed areas, FSB is also presenting content-related forums with added value for municipalities, planners and landscape architects.

Across more than 2,000 sqm, STADTundRAUM (city and space) is presenting an area dedicated to urban spaces, places of encounter and playground themes. The visitor market place in the area is the communication hub for specialist in-depth exchange between exhibitors, planners and fair visitors. At the market place and the adjoining area, designed to resemble a “real” outdoor area, trade fair visitors can not only look at the exhibits, but also try out the objects first-hand. Among others, you will find a children’s carousel, a multifunctional movement station, a shoulder trainer for sports novices rooted in the Chinese tradition, as well as a special bench for walker users.

In addition, special topics and workshops have been thematically integrated in the layout planning. The following subjects will be covered: “Planning and demographic change – cities, urban districts, gardens, barrier-free spaces and mobility”, “Playground security” and “Accessibility”. The “SPIELRAUM-Preis” (the German Amenities Prize) will be awarded for the eleventh time at this year’s FSB (Friday, 30 October 2015) to distinguish exemplary areas for play. This year, “Barrier-free public spaces for play and exercise” are in special focus.

Federal Association of Playground Equipment and Recreational Facilities Manufacturers (BSFH) with two focal topics in Hall 9 In addition to its presentation as an industry association and as a meeting point for all questions on the topics of playgrounds, playground safety and outdoor fitness, in 2015 BSFH sets a new tone with the BSFH FORUM’s themed areas. In cooperation with the “Playground@Landscape” magazine and supported by the German Towns and Municipalities Association, a practice-orientated specialist programme will take place on 28, 29 and 30 October in Hall 9, with the topics of “Cities and municipalities get people moving: Fitness parcours in Cologne’s public space” as well as “Security on playgrounds” and “Trends in the playing ground worlds”. A further partner will once again be the German Association of Towns and Municipalities.

PlanerFORUM for municipal decision-makers This year, planners, planning offices and institutions will present their projects and services on the “planerFORUM” communal platform in Hall 9 already for the second time. In short presentations, they provide plenty of ideas and show realised and transferrable solutions as examples of best practice. The North Rhine-Westphalia section of the German Landscape Architects Association (bdla-nrw) is represented with six member offices attending. Examples from the wide spectrum of landscape architecture in the design of open spaces will be shown. On 29 October 2015 (“bdla day”), visitors will have the chance to get informed on the topics of “Golf training in public space”, “A liveable city for all” and skate park planning. A discussion will take place at the conclusion.

Public and private pool sector in joint halls In the scope of the trade fair duo, the joint presentation means that all aspects of the public and private pool, wellness and sauna sectors are now represented in Halls 6 and 7 – also in clearly defined theme worlds. The trade fair duo’s last edition successfully brought together the swimming pool sectors from aquanale and FSB’s ‘Public pool construction’ area and confirmed that joint trade fair concepts are a guarantee for a successful future for all sectors involved.

The 6th Cologne Swimming Pool & Wellness FORUM in Hall 6 is acting as the joint umbrella for the swimming pool sectora of FSB and aquanale again this year. Koelnmesse is, together with the trade associations bsw (the German Association of Swimming Pools & Wellness e.V.) and IAKS (the International Association for Sport and Recreational Facilities e.V.) and in cooperation with further partners, organising an informative and theme-oriented expert programme over four days that is tailormade for the target group of public swimming pool operators as well as for swimming pool constructors, hoteliers, planners and architects. Health and environmental protection are also the overarching trends for the “PlanerFORUM on public pool construction”, or to be exact, sustainable renovation of public pools as well as the topic of water treatment. The event will take place on 29 October as part of the sixth Cologne Swimming Pool and Wellness FORUM.

New: Forum on outdoor sports facilities

The outdoor sports facilities forum will take place for the first time at FSB 2015. The International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) and its partner associations will present current trends and information for planners and operators of sports facilities and public amenity areas. Over the first three days of the fair, lectures will be given on themes such as “New Findings from FIFA’s Artificial Turf Quality Concept”, where results from the latest international research studies will be presented, the recycling of artificial turf systems, management approaches for the control of municipal open air facilities or safety management on sports grounds. Furthermore, there will also be first-hand information on the current situation of artificial turf standards and technology, infill granules and plastic floor coverings as well as an overview of the hybrid turf system that are available on the market.

24th IAKS Congres and the award ceremony of the Architecture Prize In 2015, IAKS is celebrating its 50th anniversary at FSB. This anniversary is an integral theme of the congress and the workshops. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, IAKS will take a look into the history of sporting and recreational infrastructure. In the course of an award ceremony, prominent figures from five decades of international sports facility construction will be initiated into the “IAKS Hall of Fame”. In line with this, the Congress will again this year deal with architecturally and operationally archetypal projects, in which sustainability and social aspects are of great importance. Under this year’s motto “Planning, construction, modernisation and the management of sports and leisure centres”, international experts from the sports facilities industry will discuss the building and business trends as well as best practices; the palette ranges from new ways for traditional sports grounds, sports facilities for colleges and schools, to stadiums and arenas for major events through to urban experiential spaces and amenity areas. The congress will examine the question of how one can best serve the demand for attractive, healthy and functional sports and leisure facilities to the benefit of everyone, a topic which indeed lies at the heart of FSB.

The absolute highlight of the IAKS Congress is the presentation of the IOC/IAKS Award, the IPC/IAKS distinction and the award for young talents, the IOC/IPC/IAKS Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals. These most important international architecture prizes for sports, leisure and recreational buildings are presented by the IAKS in the scope of a special event on all days of the trade fair.

International Swimming Pool Congress expands supporting programme For the first time ever, the trade fair duo is also hosting the International Swimming Pool Congress of the German Society for Natural Bathing Waters (DGfNB), which more than 1,000 national and international congress participants are expected to attend in Cologne. Under the motto “Variety on the Water”, the congress offers an informative programme on the latest trends, relevant norms, quality assurance programmes and for example on the state-of-the-art technologies in natural water treatment, types of construction or delivers tips and the latest cognitions for the sustainable water care of public and private swimming and bathing pools. Moreover, renowned companies from all over Europe will be presenting their services, products and innovations on the elaborately designed special area dedicated to the theme of natural pools and swimming ponds in Hall 6. Since this range of topics is of great interest to both the public and the private swimming pool market, the new hall location also creates the best possible synergies and short routes for visitors from both areas.

Major Events International (MEI) are focusing on the theme of driving fan engagement through technology at this year’s inaugural Major Events Summit, taking place in London on 26th and 27th October. Demonstrated by the high levels of fan engagement during this year’s Rugby World Cup, this is an area of growing interest and prominence within the sports industry as organisations look to enhance fan experience and engagement as well as looking at the ‘Return on Investment’ from an increasing range of innovative capabilities. 

The aim of the Major Events Summit is to provide the Major Events community with a highly interactive and profile-enhancing opportunity. With a unique mix of attendees from leading edge suppliers to sports and venue key officials, round tables and panels will allow for detailed discussions and new relationships to be formed.

The first day of the Summit on 26th October will focus on Safety and Security for major sporting events and is followed by the MEI awards and sports legend dinner – the awards themselves will be produced by Touch of Ginger who have recently produced the Rugby World Cup medals. The Event Services and Venue Operations day on 27th will focus on the use of technology and best practice generally when running and supplying into events. Speakers on day two include Spanish start up Mobile Media Content and Olympic sponsor ATOS Origin.

Commenting on the event, MEI’s CEO Dennis Mills said:

The Major Events Summit is an opportunity for our joint supplier and buyer community to meet, identify requirements and suitable solutions as well as sharing lessons learned.  In a format which will encourage maximum attendee participation, this new “must-attend” annual gathering of major sporting events and venue professionals will be kept to 100 attendees to allow for an intimate highly networked environment.

To reserve your place at this specialist event, please visit or call +44 (0) 207 073 2661 for more information

About Major Events International (MEI)

Major Events International (MEI) provides business support services to companies seeking to win business for iconic global events such as the Olympic Games, World Cup series, and regional and specialist events where requirements cover venues, fan parks, city and state level hosting needs presenting opportunities for companies of all sizes and sectors.

Barclaycard Arena wins prestigious title at the Celebrating Construction Awards

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The Barclaycard Arena – in Birmingham, UK – has won ‘Project of the Year’ for its redevelopment work, at a prestigious annual award ceremony that recognises the West Midlands’ most inspiring construction projects and people.

The coveted title was awarded to BAM Construction Ltd – the contractor appointed to oversee the redevelopment of the arena – at the Celebrating Construction Awards for the innovative remodelling project, which took place between May 2013 and December 2014.

The GBP£26m project aimed to reposition the Barclaycard Arena as a global venue through dramatic architecture, as well as increasing the size. The results were an entire upgrade of all areas – from front of house through to backstage, adding 5,926m² of pre/post show space into the 13,437m² of redevelopment.

Andrew Hendry, Projects and Contracts Manager for Barclaycard Arena, worked closely with BAM on the redevelopment project and attended the award ceremony, commented:

The Barclaycard Arena is one of the busiest, large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in the world, with a capacity that ranges from a maximum of 15,892 to 3,000 for more intimate events. The redevelopment has introduced improved facilities for all visitors to the venue, including improved dressing room facilities for artists, giving them a ‘five star hotel feel’. The outside has been transformed to give a real sense of anticipation to an unforgettable event, and the customer experience has been improved throughout.

Throughout the project we worked very closely with BAM and so it’s fantastic that we’ve beaten over 100 companies across the East and West Midlands to be awarded this prestigious title and be recognised by the industry professionals as a benchmark for others.

In the ‘Project of the Year’ category, judges were looking for an outstanding project that best demonstrates the highest levels of technical achievement, innovation, application of best practice, team working throughout the supply chain, delivered to time, budget and quality with the highest health & safety standards, lowest environmental impact and most importantly to the Customer’s delight.

Dean Bryant, Commercial Director for BAM Construction said:

The Barclaycard Arena was a challenging and intricate build in regards to logistics, third party intervention, continually changing client requirements and the fundamental driver that the Arena was to remain live throughout. But our expertise and knowledge and close working relationship with the Arena team meant we were able to complete the project on time, on budget and to everyone’s expectations. We’re now looking forward to the national awards.

Populous Arena Team announced as architects of Bristol Arena

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International design practice Populous have been named as the architects for the new Bristol Arena, bringing a world-class entertainment and sports venue, urban regeneration and international recognition to the city.
Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, announced today that the Populous Arena Team had won the RIBA international design competition for the venue. He said:

The Populous team presented an innovative design. The new arena shone out as the best of five great designs and will sit comfortably on the ‘Arena Island’ site next to Temple Meads and the Bath Road.

The team brings together the expertise of entertainment and sports design firm Populous, award winning locally-based architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, renowned international practice BuroHappold Engineering and sound specialists Vanguardia.

Speaking at the announcement in Bristol, Populous Senior Principal Nicholas Reynolds said:

We believe Bristol Arena will be the catalyst for the creation of a vibrant new quarter in the city. The design is flexible enough to cater for a wide variety of events and creates a range of spaces inside and out of the venue itself, for people to come together right through the year.
Our design for Bristol Arena is unique. It delivers a world-class live concert venue for 12,000 fans and, with seamless conversion, the atmosphere and intimacy of a 4,000-seat amphitheatre. The adaptive façade will provide the canvas, defining the identity of the building within the Bristol skyline as it transitions between an ephemeral form by day to a dynamic event backdrop by night.

Peter Clegg of Bath-based architecture firm Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios said:

Framed by the railway and the River Avon, the Arena has been designed to reflect the proud history and heritage of the city of Bristol, creating an iconic new form within the city, which is respectful and responsive to its unique location. While the masonry plinth base will reflect the surrounding buildings, the beautiful crystalline upper form will allow the arena to continually adapt to mirror the changing face and form of the city.

The Arena is designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, making it the UK’s most sustainable arena – a fitting tribute to the 2015 European Green Capital. Using cutting-edge design principles, the arena will feature an innovative displacement ventilation system and provision for the biggest building-based photovoltaic system in the city. It will also help create a new cycle and pedestrian link between the station and the residential areas to the south and east.

BuroHappold Engineering’s Group Director, Steve Macey, said:

Bristol Arena is set to become an exemplar of sustainability in action: an inspirational environment that reflects Bristol’s ambitions and culture, and delivers the best possible experience for visitors and city residents alike. The Arena will be a hub of activity that works in harmony with the local environment and communities, showcasing cutting edge design and engineering and creating lasting experiences and memories for all. BuroHappold Engineering is proud to be a part of this ambitious and innovative initiative.

Jim Griffiths, Director of sound specialists Vanguardia said:

Our design for Bristol Arena has focused on creating a performance venue with great sound quality by controlling the acoustics within the space. We are also using the building fabric to minimise sound break-out and ensure that the arena is a good neighbour to the surrounding areas in Bristol, allowing it to provide first class entertainment for years to come.


Image: The Bristol Arena design (©Populous)

UAE to host the 2019 Asian Cup

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The United Arab Emirates has won a unanimous vote to host the AFC Asian Cup in 2019, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed.

AFC President, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, said:

I would like to congratulate the UAE Football Association on their successful bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2019. The AFC Executive Committee was convinced by the merits of the UAE bid.

I firmly believe that the UAE Football Association will host a tournament that could match and potentially even surpass the stunning AFC Asian Cup 2015 in Australia that we have all just witnessed.


The announcement of the Emratis’ winning bid came after a meeting of the AFC executive committee in Manama, Bahrain.

The UAE and Iran had been in competition to organise the tournament.

It will be the second time that the UAE has organised the continent’s showcase tournament, having previously staged it in 1996, when the hosts lost a penalty shootout in the final to Saudi Arabia.

The UAE bid proposed to organise the tournament in three cities: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al-Ain – which all have stadiums capable of hosting such an event – and also promised to build a new 25,000-capacity stadium in Dubai.

The bid document proposed the host stadiums to be: Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium and Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium and Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain; Dubai International Cricket Stadium and the proposed new 25,000-capacity stadium in Dubai.

The expanded 2019 instalment of the tournament will see 24 teams competing instead of the usual 16.

Image: Concept design image of “Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

Silverdome International Design Competition launched

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Triple Investment Group is inviting architects, planners, students, engineers, designers and artists from around the globe to take part in the Silverdome International Design Competition.

The Silverdome was one of the world’s most prestigious buildings of its time. Triple Investment Group and Oakland County recognize that the site at 1200 Featherstone Road sits on one of the most sought after locations in Michigan. They are seeking outstanding ideas that will redefine the site design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programmes, aesthetics and spatial organizations, along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability and the digital revolution.

This open-ideas design competition aims to examine new visions for a campus of retail, advanced technology research, development and manufacturing that is integrated within the community, the city and the world. The participants should take into consideration the advances in technology, the exploration of sustainable systems, and the establishment of new urban and architectural methods to address economic, social, and cultural problems affecting the contemporary city, including the scarcity of natural resources and infrastructure and the exponential increase of inhabitants, pollution, economic division, and unplanned urban sprawl.

The competition hopes to inspire ideas for a public and private space and the role of the individual and the collective in the creation of a dynamic and adaptive community. It is also a response to the exploration and adaptation of new habitats and territories based on a dynamic equilibrium between man and nature – a new kind of responsive and adaptive site design capable of intelligent growth through the self-regulation of its own systems.

There are no restrictions regarding boundaries, incorporating the existing Silverdome structure or not, program mix, GFA, height or density. The objective is to provide creative freedom to the participants to engage in the project without constraints. What future lies ahead for the Silverdome site in the 21st Century? Design proposals should be able to make a case for the historical, contextual, social, urban, and environmental responsibilities of these mega-structures.

Triple Investment Group is committed to stimulating the imagination of designers around the world – leading a new architectural discourse of economic, environmental, intellectual, and perceptual responsibility that could ultimately modify what we understand as a mixed use campus and/or development, its impact on urban planning and on the improvement of our way of life.

The elements and programmes to be included into the site design, are:

  1. An accessible and permeable site design that prioritizes walkability, open space and resilient landscape design
  2. Advanced technologies manufacturing
  3. University campus integration with high-tech manufacturing
  4. Restaurants
  5. Hotel
  6. Commercial space
  7. Conference and meeting space
  8. Retail
  9. Office
  10. Residential
  11. Student residences

The Silverdome International Design Competition is possible with the support of Autodeskreal5D and v2com.

Architects, students, engineers, and designers are invited to participate in the competition, with multidisciplinary teams being encouraged.

  • Contest closes April 12, 2015 at 5pm ET.
  • No fee to enter.
  • One registration = One project
  • Participants may submit various projects but must register each entry.
  • There is no limit to the number of participants per team. Individual entries are accepted.

After your registration has been approved, within 24 hours Triple Investment Group will send you the registration number which will be necessary for submission boards.


  • February , 2015 – Competition announcement, registration begins, acceptance of questions.
  • March, 2015  – Deadline for submitting questions.
  • April 12, 2015 – Project submission deadline (23:59 hours US Eastern Time)
  • May-June, 2015 – Winners announcement


  • 1st – $3,000
  • 2nd – $1,000
  • 3rd – $500

Submission Requirements

This is a digital competition and no hard copies are necessary. Entrants must submit their proposal no later than April 12, 2015 (23:59 hours US Eastern Time). Registered participants will receive instructions to upload their submission to the competition’s Dropbox.

The project submission must contain the following files:

  1. Two boards with the project information including plans, sections, and perspectives. Participants are encouraged to submit all the information they consider necessary to explain their proposal. These boards should be 24″(h) X 48″(w) in HORIZONTAL format. The resolution of the boards must be 150 dpi, RGB mode and saved as JPG files. The upper right corner of each board must contain the participation number (the participant number will be emailed after registration has been submitted). There should not be any marks or any other form of identification. The files must be named after the registration number followed by the board number. For example: 0101-1.jpg and 0101-2.jpg.
  2.  A document file (.doc or .docx) containing the project statement (600 words max). This file must be named after the registration number followed by the word “statement”. For example: 0101-statement.doc.
  3. A document file containing the entrant’s personal information, including name, profession, address, and email. This file must be named after the registration number followed by the word “info”. For example: 0101-info.doc.
  4.  All the files must be placed in a ZIP folder named after your registration number. For example:

For more information or to download a Registration Form, go to:


Wembley Stadium achieves AIM accreditation

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Wembley Stadium connected by EE, the largest stadium in the United Kingdom and second largest in Europe, is the latest high-profile venue to become Accredited In Meetings (AIM) and join the mia as venue members.


The stadium not only is the venue home to the England football team but also host to a myriad of concerts, live events, conferences, meetings, events and exhibitions. Wembley Stadium boasts four main meeting and event spaces, The Bobby Moore Room, The Great Hall, The Atrium and The Wembley Suite.


By achieving AIM, Wembley Stadium joins over 500 venues and suppliers all of whom have met a rigorous set of agreed standards and adhere to a strict code of practice, which demonstrates their excellence in terms of legal compliance, ethical business operations, capability, quality of the facilities and overall fitness for purpose.


Commenting on receiving the accreditation, Wembley Stadium’s Business Development Director, Ruth Kaye, said:

Accredited in Meetings is the definitive hallmark of quality for the meetings and events industry and we’re delighted to achieve this recognition. Delegates and guests will benefit from our friendly and professional approach, high quality facilities, and desire to give them an unforgettable experience.


Nick Milne, Chair AIM Development Group, said:

Accreditation is vital to venues wishing to demonstrate their quality and benchmark themselves against competitors. By joining mia and achieving AIM, their kitemark of quality and standard now provides the world-famous venue with a competitive edge that will help them to position themselves as leaders in the field.


AIM is the UK’s only nationally-recognised quality standard for the meetings, conferences and events industry. The accreditation is endorsed by Visit Britain, Visit Wales, Meet England, ABPCO, MPI and HBAA.

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Major League Lacrosse announces 2015 All-Star game to be held at BBVA Compass Stadium

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Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league in the U.S., announced earlier this week that the 2015 All-Star Game will be hosted at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas on Friday, June 13. 

The MLL season will culminate once again in Georgia on Saturday, August 8 with the 2015 Championship Game hosted at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University. As for the 2015 All-Star Game being hosted at BBVA Compass Stadium, this will be the first ever MLL event held in the city of Houston. Both games will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

MLL Commissioner David Gross, said:

We’re excited to bring the MLL All-Star Game to Houston. We’ve been watching the growth of the sport in Texas and want to give the great fans in the region a taste of the MLL. Working together with Savoy Sports Advisors, the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and the Houston Chapter of US Lacrosse, we’re sure we can make this a memorable event.

For the city of Houston and its surrounding communities, hosting the MLL All-Star Game is yet another testament to the growth of lacrosse in emerging markets across the United States. Houston youth lacrosse has seen tremendous growth in participation at the recreational, club and select level in recent years. Many programs have seen participation rates increase by 30% year on year. The greater Houston area boasts more than 30 independent youth clubs, each with girls and boys programs ranging from youth through to high school. Recent success in Houston lacrosse has increased recognition by nationally recognised programs and organisations, which has increased recruiting activity and success on a national level for the area.

MLL will work with a strong local partnership group in Houston, led by Savoy Sports Advisors, the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and the Houston Chapter of US Lacrosse.

Savoy Sports Advisors and local operating partners, Timon Lorenzo and Brendan Logue stated:

We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with Major League Lacrosse to showcase the world’s greatest players in Houston. The All-Star Weekend will be a great start in building on the success of the MLL and the growth of local youth programs in one of the most dynamic sports markets in the country.

US Lacrosse Houston Chapter Board member Mark Golenzer, added:

As lacrosse enthusiasts, we’re extremely excited that the MLL will be bringing this marquee event to Houston for the first time. There’s great passion for the game of lacrosse throughout the Greater Houston area, and the Houston Chapter looks forward to working with the MLL to help promote this game to the lacrosse community.

Tickets for the 2015 MLL All-Star Game went on sale January 26.

For more information about the 2015 MLL All-Star Game as well as the full 2015 regular season schedule, visit under Schedule & Events.

About Major League Lacrosse

Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Major League Lacrosse commenced play in June of 2001 and will enter its fifteenth season in 2015. MLL has continued to lead the sport of lacrosse into the mainstream of competitive team sports. The league is made up of eight teams: The Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Florida Launch, New York Lizards, Ohio Machine and Rochester Rattlers.

The 2015 season will commence on Sunday, April 12, 2015. More information about the league can be found at and via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About BBVA Compass Stadium

BBVA Compass Stadium, managed by AEG Facilities and part of its global network of the most elite venues worldwide, is a state-of-the-art, open-air stadium designed to host Houston Dynamo matches and Texas Southern University football games as well as additional professional, collegiate and community sporting events, concerts, exhibitions, conventions and special events. Opened on May 12, 2012, the 340,000sqft, 22,000-seat venue is the first soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer located in a city’s downtown district. With its downtown location, the new stadium is a part of a true ‘Stadium District’, which includes Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center, as well as the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, Warehouse Live and House of Blues.

Manchester City FC open their £200m ‘City Football Academy’

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City’s new youth development and first team training centre – the City Football Academy (CFA) – was opened today, December 8, by former manager and captain, Tony Book.

The unveiling of the 80-acre regenerated brownfield site, adjacent to the Etihad Stadium and part of the wider 200 acres known as the Etihad Campus, was overseen by Club Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and the Right Honourable George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer during his visit to the city.

Prior to the opening event, the Chancellor was given a guided tour of the Academy by Chairman Al Mubarak during which he was introduced to leaders of three local businesses that provided central services and products during the construction of the site. Proceedings also included the unveiling of Etihad Avenue, the central street of the CFA and named after the primary partner of the Etihad Campus, Etihad Airways.

Mr Osborne also watched a lesson of the City under 12’s team, in one of the Academy classrooms, spending time chatting to a number of the students, after which he watched City’s first team train as they prepared for their forthcoming Champions League match against Roma.

The final part of the tour saw the Chancellor visit the First Team building where he viewed a wide range of facilities, with the tour ending in the circular first team dressing room.

Speaking of his visit, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

I am a strong believer in improving sporting facilities for young people, which is why I am delighted to oversee the opening of the City Football Academy today. The partnership between Abu Dhabi United Group and Manchester City Council is a benchmark for public private partnership, driving investment into the North of England and developing projects where business and the community benefit.

Club Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, added:

At the outset of his ownership, back in Autumn 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, set out his vision for the future of Manchester City Football Club.  He pledged to bring success on the field and to nurture young talent whilst at the same time remaining proudly rooted to the community in which it resided.

The cornerstone of the future, was a vision for youth development and sustainability; a vision to educate talented young footballers on and off the pitch and to do so in a facility supported by the best coaches and coaching programmes. The vision was underpinned by an unwavering commitment to the regeneration of the local area in both economic and environmental terms.

Today marks the end of six years of extensive research, development and construction involving many, many people. It also marks the beginning of a responsibility to deliver against the opportunities that this Academy now creates for us.

The CFA – research and planning for which began at the outset of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed’s ownership of the Club back in 2008 – is home to all of Manchester City FC’s football teams of both genders and all age groups. Two thirds of the 16.5 pitches on site are dedicated to the youth talent and the wider development of the young players is supported by tailored coaching and education facilities, medical and sports science services, sleeping accommodation and parents’ facilities. Such is the attention to detail that there are three different grass surfaces in operation – Desso, RouteZone and GrassMaster, on which training can be alternated to suit the surfaces of different opponents.

The CFA also accommodates the majority of Manchester-based staff in one connected operational base and is a global headquarters for those in the wider City Football family, which now includes sister clubs New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama Marinos.

The project, which has the overwhelming support of the local community, was underpinned by ambitious local recruitment and supply chain targets both of which were achieved, significantly up-skilling the local community and making a positive economic impact on the surrounding area.

The CFA also reached the highest possible environmental standards, achieving the Gold standard under LEED guidelines, with low carbon, low water and low waste measures being employed to minimise impact on the environment and encourage local bio diversity. The remediation alone, of the 80-acre site by the Club, had a positive environmental impact, turning a vast tract of land, polluted by years of heavy industrial use into clean terrain, and some 2,000 trees were planted on and around the site.

The Club enjoys a long-standing and mutually supportive relationship with Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester Community.  Consistent with this, and in addition to the Club’s existing and on-going City in the Community Scheme which touches 45,000 lives a year with 400,000 individual contacts, the Club donated 5.5 acres of remediated land within the CFA on which the Connell sixth form college was built and a pitch for use by the local community.

The Club also donated GBP£3m to the creation of public swimming facilities in the local East Manchester Leisure centre and made the bridge, connecting the City Football Academy to the Etihad Stadium, a public right of way for use by its fans and the wider community.

City Football Academy. Courtesy: Manchester City FC.

City Football Academy. Courtesy: Manchester City FC.

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Peoria Sports Complex renovation achieves LEED Gold

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Peoria Sports Complex’s recent renovations, designed by Populous with DFDG, have achieved LEED Gold Certification.

The renovations to the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres Clubhouses were designed to enhance the experience for athletes, while creating a sustainable and efficient facility.

The newly expanded facilities include patio space, hydrotherapy, a new weight training centre in each clubhouse and enhanced locker room, training and dining facilities.

Sustainability played an integral role in the design process and the completed clubhouses will save more than 320,000 gallons of water and 1,126,000 kWh of electricity per year. In addition, 36% of building materials were recycled and the design process made use of locally sourced materials and Low VOC paints and sealants.

With the integration of sustainable cleaning practices, the facility has achieved LEED Gold Certification.

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El Paso’s Southwest University Park named ‘Ballpark of the Year’ by

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It’s always a sad situation when a city loses a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team. El Paso saw its beloved Diablos move away following the 2004 season. When the City realised that it would take a new ballpark to lure an affiliated Minor League franchise back to that market, they constructed one of the great facilities in the sport.

The sadness of 2004 has given way to rejoicing as the Pacific Coast League’s El Paso Chihuahuas now play in the City’s new ballpark. No doubt the rejoicing will turn to euphoria with the announcement that the El Paso Chihuahuas’ Southwest University Park has been named as ‘Ballpark of the Year’ for 2014.

The announcement of the award was made in the pages of the August 6th edition of USA Today Sports Weekly. Joe Mock, frequent contributor to USA Today publications, wrote the article that announced that El Paso’s park is the winner of this year’s honour. Mock is also the President of Grand Slam Enterprises, which owns and operates the website.

The honour is given annually to the new or remodelled baseball stadium with the best combination of aesthetics, architectural design, attractive site selection and fan amenities. The plaque representing the award will be presented by Mock at the Chihuahuas’ home game on August 28. This marks the 15th straight year that has presented such an award.

Mock noted about last year’s winner, Regions Field, home of the Birmingham Baron:

Prior to this year, the fans and media in Birmingham exhibited the greatest response to their park winning the award. This year, though, the level of excitement over my in-depth review by fans in the El Paso area has even topped what I saw last year. When they learn that their park has won this national honor, I expect the interest to be off the charts.

Josh Hunt, Managing Partner of MountainStar Sports Group, which owns and operates the Chihuahuas, was thrilled with the news. He said:

This is truly an honour for us, as well as for the entire community of El Paso. I believe our City can be very proud that the El Paso Chihuahuas play in a venue that is recognised as being the best new ballpark in the country. From the outset, ownership’s objective was to build a first-class facility.

The unique design was a key factor, as well. The project team started with a small, tight amount of land in the heart of our city and turned it into a ballpark with distinct ‘neighbourhoods’ that make up the total venue. And to top it off, we have incredibly supportive fans that create the best environment in Minor League Baseball. Populous, the construction team and consultants, and the City of El Paso should be very proud of this honour. It’s really very special.

El Paso’s Project Engineer for the Ballpark, Alan Shubert, was equally happy when informed about the award. He commented:

This is fantastic news. Everyone involved in this worked diligently to have the very highest quality qallpark, and it’s nice to know that this quality is being recognised with this award. Beyond that, El Paso deserves the best. It’s a great town and it deserves this honour. I hope this Ballpark is the first of more great venues to come for the City.

Pat O’Conner, the President and CEO of Minor League Baseball, released a statement that said, in part:

We commend the Chihuahuas organisation, MountainStar Sports Group and the city of El Paso for their dedication to creating a first-class environment for their players and fans.

Since 2000, Minor League Baseball has built an impressive 58 new ballparks and Southwest University Park is yet another shining example of the immense popularity, growth and stability of Minor League Baseball in the sports landscape. Many of our stadiums feature the same amenities as Major League Baseball stadiums, and allow players to hone their skills from the early stages of their professional careers in our state-of-the-art facilities.

We commend the Chihuahuas organisation, MountainStar Sports Group and the city of El Paso for their dedication to creating a first-class environment for their players and fans. It is an honour for an MiLB stadium to be recognised as’s Ballpark of the Year for 2014.

Nationally known architecture firm Populous was behind the design of the Ballpark. Their job was particularly challenging because of the small size of the chosen site.

Mike Sabatini, Principal at Populous and designer of Southwest University Park, said:

The ballpark is situated on one of the tightest sites in Minor League Baseball but the constraints of the site became opportunities for us. This allowed us to create a unique, asymmetrical ballpark that is authentically El Paso. As an architect, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing a community enjoy and appreciate a ballpark and its design, which is exactly what has happened in El Paso. Here at Populous, we share in the pride El Pasoans feel in their new park, and in winning this award.

Populous is no stranger to this honour; this marking the eighth time one of their ballparks has won, including PNC Park in 2001, Petco Park in 2004 and Pensacola Bayfront Stadium in 2012.

David Bower, Principal at Populous said:

Our design philosophy is rooted in creating incredible experiences and designing solutions that are authentic to the place, capturing the best attributes of a community, a city and a region through design. In El Paso, we are incredibly proud of the way this philosophy manifested itself – we captured the city’s prominent architectural style, from the classic brick to the influence of public art – on a site that allows for complete connectivity to the city and has become a spot for baseball to thrive in El Paso for decades to come.

The other finalists for the 2014 award were Cubs Park, the new home of Cubs spring training in Mesa, Arizona; and BB&T BallPark in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte, like El Paso, has a Triple-A franchise.

Mock advised:

This year’s new parks are all outstanding. In particular, the Charlotte Knights’ new facility is gorgeous and offers fans one of the very best views in the sport. In the end, though, the setting, exterior and miraculous design job by Populous carried the day for Southwest University Park. The fact that such an exemplary ballpark could be built on a site of less than six acres is astonishing.

The complete list of Ballpark of the Year winners can be found here and Mock’s review of El Paso’s ballpark, entitled “Artistic Ballpark is a Masterpiece” can be found here.

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Catering Award for London Olympics Manager

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Jan Matthews, CEO of RP Global was delighted to receive the Stadia Award at the Cost Sector Catering Awards earlier this month. Matthews was recognised for her role as Head of Catering Cleaning & Waste (CCW) for LOCOG where she led a team of 22,000 to design, plan, deliver and close the catering, cleaning and waste services at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Jan Matthews and David Russell will lead a seminar during Stadia & Arena 2013 in Istanbul on 23 May.

The CCW team were responsible for all the Olympic venues across London and the rest of the UK, ensuring aspirational food quality, value, visitor experience, innovation and financial benchmarks were met throughout the process. The LOCOG team were supported by leading catering and hospitality experts – The Russell Partnership – who co-authored the Food Vision for London 2012.

Following the Games, Matthews joined the Russell Partnership to head their RP Global division, applying catering and hospitality experience, to support owners and organising committees with their strategic direction, operational planning, mobilisation and effective delivery, to optimise customer experience at major events all over the world.

Stadia triumph at MIPIM awards

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Plans for two sporting stadia have been recognised with awards at the 11th annual MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards competition. Fernandes Arquitetos Associados’ plans for the refurbishment of the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won the Retrofit category accolade, whilst Doha City Tennis Stadium by Arup Associates, won the Sports and Stadium category award.

Stadia - Retrofit Winner - Maracana_Fernandes Arquitetos_facade

A national symbol of Brazilian sporting excellence, the refurbished Estadio do Maracana stadium will be the centre piece of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and is set to hold a number of matches including the final. The world’s attention will return to the stadium less than two years later as it is set to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The award judges praised the project, stating that the

ingenious reworking of structure has allowed the addition of a spectacular stressed-skin roof which transforms a 1950s icon for use in the next soccer World Cup.

Plans for the 15,000 capacity Doha City Tennis Stadium feature a conical bowl and dramatic sculptural shape, surrounded by a swooping ribbon of concourses and functional accommodation at its base.

A self shading building, powered by the sun and naturally ventilated during the cool periods, the zero-carbon stadium follows the sustainability principles established in the practice’s award winning FIFA 2022 Qatar Showcase football stadium.
Paul Finch, director of the awards, said: “It’s been another impressive competition in 2013, and there have been some truly stand out projects submitted from every corner of the globe.”