PanStadia & Arena Management Magazine is the undisputed world leader for the business of stadia, arenas, sporting events and venues on a global scale.

All posts tagged host venues

During the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Future Arena will host the handball games and be packed with 12,000 spectators. When the Games are over, its structure will be dismantled and used in the construction of four state schools, thus leaving a lasting legacy to the city of Rio de Janeiro. Three schools will be constructed in Barra da Tijuca and one in Maracanã – each accommodating 500 students – as part of a 178 million reais (GB£48m/US$77m/€57m) legacy project.

Read more

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 wrapped up its sixth visit confident that PyeongChang 2018 is moving in the right direction as Games preparations intensify in the final two years.


At a closing news conference with PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG), President Yang-ho Cho, and Coordination Commission Chair, Gunilla Lindberg, expressed their satisfaction with the construction progress at competition venues and congratulated Games organisers for the success of early test events.

The first round of recent test events — the Alpine World Cup, the Snowboard World Cup and the Freestyle Ski World Cup — won praise from athletes and positive reviews from technical experts. The number of events and the workload for PyeongChang 2018 will soon increase dramatically, with 24 test events set for the next winter sports season.

The first test event, the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating, is scheduled for December at the new Gangneung Ice Arena.

Coordination Commission Chair, Ms Lindberg, said:

There is still a lot of work to do, but PyeongChang 2018 is on track to deliver great Olympic Winter Games for Korea and the world. We are pleased with what we have seen and heard during our visit.

POCOG President Cho said:

This Coordination Commission meeting has been a very productive few days for all of us, sharing constructive feedback and expertise.  As we move into the critical operational phase of the Games, I would like to thank the IOC and International Federations for their continued guidance and support. The strong partnership that we share is instrumental to our success.”

As we have seen with our first test events, our continued cooperation is essential to hosting great Games. With our close cooperation, we will ensure great Olympics and Paralympics in 2018.  

The Coordination Commission’s three-day visit (14-16 March) included a series of venue visits and discussions with POCOG on all aspects of Games preparations, including the athlete experience, legacy planning, sustainability and transport, as well as plans for the Paralympic Games.

Aware that the Rio 2016 Games are fast approaching, POCOG presented its plan to establish the PyeongChang House in Rio de Janeiro during the Games. The facility will showcase winter sports and PyeongChang’s Games preparations.

The visit confirmed that construction on the Ice Arena and other competition venues remains on schedule. The Coordination Commission also noted the strong and growing commercial support for the Games.

Before leaving PyeongChang, the Commission Chair joined a signing ceremony for the newest PyeongChang 2018 partner, Lotte, a partner for department and duty free stores. With the signing, PyeongChang 2018 has reached nearly 70 per cent of its sponsorship goals. 

Inside the Games has reported that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), which will allow Team GB to use Japanese sports facilities during the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The agreement was also signed by the Yokahama and Kawasaki City Governments, as well as Keio University, and covers the provision of and access to facilities for the BOA.

Following the MoU, the BOA will be able to use facilities at Keio Hiyoshi Campus and Todoroki Stadium, as well as the Yokohama International Swimming Pool, for their pre-Games training.

Sebastien Coe, BOA President, said:

We are pleased that we have been able to partner with two great cities in Yokohama and Kawasaki, which will provide Team GB athletes with outstanding sporting facilities at Keio University, the International Swimming Pool and Todoroki Stadium.

We look forward to building further collaboration using sport as the instrument for positive social change.

Japan has made an immeasurable contribution to the Olympic Movement.

Tokyo 1964, Sapporo 1972 and Nagano 1998 provided the stage for some of the most memorable Olympic moments.

Tokyo 2020 will continue that rich history and will be a showcase to the world of iconic sport and culture.

The MoU was signed at the Ajinomoto National Training Centre, a state-of-the-art training facility used by Japan’s top athletes.

Coe, who is also President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was joined by JOC President Tsnuekazu Takeda to confirm the agreement.

Takeda said:

I am very delighted to celebrate the signing of the MoU among the parties, the British Olympic Association, Yokohama City, Kawasaki City and the Japanese Olympic Committee in terms of the BOA training camp for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

We believe that the usage of the facilities of Yokohama City, Kawasaki City and Keio University by Team GB during the training camp will make it possible to create exchanges with the citizens and young people of both cities and university students.

In addition, we strongly feel that this MoU will further deepen the cordial relationship between the BOA and the JOC.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place from July 24 to August 9.


Image courtesy: Tokyo 2020




Our Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific conference & exhibition is being held at the Yokohama Arena this September, 26-28. To register an exhibitor, speaker, sponsor or delegate, please visit the event website at:




In a Commonwealth Games first, Beach Volleyball has scored a spot in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ (GC2018) sports program.

The historic agreement between the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Queensland Government, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC), will extend the GC2018 sports program for the first time from 17 to 18 sports.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the decision, which was approved by the CGF Executive Board following a special request from the Minister for the Commonwealth Games and GOLDOC. She said:

I am proud my Government has been able to work with the Commonwealth Games Federation to expand the sports program and add Beach Volleyball to the GC2018 schedule.

The Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches are a huge Games drawcard and Beach Volleyball is the perfect sporting fit for the 2018 program.

The Games is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase Queensland to the world and with Beach Volleyball now locked in to make its Commonwealth Games debut, vision of the Gold Coast’s iconic beaches will be beamed to an audience of over 1.5 billion people around the world.

Commonwealth Games Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, said Games’ partners are in the process of assessing suitable Gold Coast locations:

The Gold Coast has some of the best beaches in the world, which is why we have campaigned strongly to the Commonwealth Games Federation to include Beach Volleyball as part of the sporting program in 2018.

Games partners will scout a location that showcases our magnificent beaches, but also is accessible and has the capacity to house the temporary infrastructure needed to meet international federation guidelines.

I am confident that preparations will proceed quickly in full consultation with the community and key partners.

CGF President Louise Martin CBE also endorsed the decision:

The CGF Executive Board is delighted to approve the inclusion of Beach Volleyball in the sports program of the XXI Commonwealth Games, which will allow nations to compete in more sports, engage and inspire spectators, broadcasters and commercial partners, and create a spectacular sporting showcase for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia on the world stage.

This innovative, collaborative initiative, undertaken and initiated by the Gold Coast 2018 delivery partners with support from the CGF, is a fantastic example of the collective ambitions set out in the CGF’s Transformation 2022 strategic plan and we look forward to experiencing Beach Volleyball for the first time ever at a Commonwealth Games.

GOLDOC Chairman Nigel Chamier AM said Games’ preparations were on track with arrangements well advanced on the sporting, commercial and infrastructure programs:

This announcement is a great outcome that will only add to what is already an exciting program.

The people of the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia can expect amazing venues, incredible sport and a lifetime of memories.

The GC2018 sports program will now include the following 18 sports: Athletics, Aquatics (swimming and diving), Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Cycling (road, mountain and track), Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

The final GC2018 fully integrated Para-Sports program will be announced later this month.

The events will be staged across 18 competition venues, with 14 sports on the Gold Coast, two in Brisbane (Shooting and Track Cycling), one in Cairns (Basketball Preliminaries) and one in Townsville (Basketball Preliminaries).

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be staged from 4 to 15 April 2018.

Qatar’s journey to the Opening and Final matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ is now underway. Progress is visible on the spot where Lusail Stadium, the centrepiece of the first World Cup in the Middle East, will seat 80,000 spectators in a spectacular venue inspired by Qatari traditions and culture.

Five kilometres of hoarding surround the site of the proposed host venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ Final, where site facilities and offices have been finalised, marking the completion of the early works phase.

Lusail Stadium is the sixth stadium currently under construction across Qatar. Two major packages have been recently completed at the one million square metre site: early works and site investigation. These packages include the installation of site facilities and offices, which will be the home for the Lusail Stadium technical team for the coming years.

Mubarak Al-Khulaifi, SC Project Director at Lusail Stadium, said:

We are very pleased to have initiated a presence on the site, which has a special significance for us all as the proposed host venue for the Opening and Final matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. Following the timely conclusion of the early works phase, we aim to shortly commence enabling works. The scope for this phase will be comprised of the heavy civil works required to facilitate the construction of the stadium structure.

The site investigation has provided information about critical aspects of the site such as the quality of the soil and the groundwater levels, which will form a part of the basis of design for the stadium foundations and substructure. It has also generated information about site levels, and the grading and levelling work required to achieve the finished site profile. The final design for Lusail Stadium will be presented in 2016.

Al-Khulaifi added:

The concept phase of the stadium design has been completed and approved, opening the way for the schematic phase. For Lusail Stadium we are building a venue which will become an internationally-recognisable landmark. It is worth noting that it is also on the flight path coming in from a number of countries for fans arriving to Hamad International Airport.

In the months following the award of the design contract to Foster + Partners this March, the SC and the designers have worked hand-in-hand to capture a sense of local and regional architecture, reflecting the aesthetics of Qatar.

Lusail City

The stadium has been designed to be in harmony with the surrounding Lusail City. To achieve this, extensive work has been carried out to integrate the stadium with the neighbouring masterplan. Regular coordination is held with the local municipal authority for the exchange of engineering information about the utilities and services in order to ensure alignment with the available sources in the area.

Located in Lusail City, 15km north of Doha, the stadium will have an 80,000-seat capacity.

All contracts on Lusail Stadium incorporate the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Standards. Contractual enforcement of these standards and a rigorous four-tier auditing system guarantees international best practice on Lusail Stadium as construction advances further in the coming months.

Thumb3 Thumb2


Images & information courtesy: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy


Trevor Easley, Host Country Security Design, Risk and Assurance Lead at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (2022 FIFA World Cup™ Qatar) is one of the 50+ industry-elite speakers taking part in this month’s must-attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 event.

If you haven't already registered to attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, then make sure to do so online today at:

If you haven’t already registered to attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, then make sure to do so online today at:

Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, has been awarded the rights to host the 2022 Asian Games.

The southeast coastal Chinese city, with a population of 8.9 million, was the lone bidder for Asia’s flagship multi-sports event.

Hangzhou mayor, Zhang Hong Ming, led the bid city’s delegation, delivering a 15-minute presentation to the Asian NOC leaders at the OCA general assembly in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. He promoted the bid as “secure, reliable and risk-free”.

2004 Olympic swimming champion, Luo Xuejuan, a resident of Hangzhou, contributed to the presentation. The former Chinese breaststroke world record holder will serve as a Games ambassador.

The host city contract is signed in Ashgabat (Image courtesy: ATR).

OCA President, Sheik Ahmad Al-Fasal Al-Sabah, put the bid to the Asian NOC leaders saying, “It’s the only candidate but it has achieved a lot of the goals in our house”.

The bid was approved by acclamation and the host city contract was signed.

Hangzhou will host the Games from September 10-25, 2022, just seven months after Beijing stages the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The athletes’ village will be located 5km from the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Park’s main 80,000-seat stadium (which is featured both on the cover and within the latest Q3 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine); the centrepiece for the 2022 Asian Games. Visitors to Games can arrive via the 45-minute high-speed railway linking Hangzhou to Shanghai.

Hangzou, which markets itself as “Paradise on Earth”, has hosted women’s World Cup football and the world table tennis tour finals. The picturesque coastal city will also host the FINA World Short Course Championships in 2018.

Chinese IT giant Alibaba will serve as Hangzhou’s marketing partner for the Games.

Reported in Ashgabat by Brian Pinelli for Around The Rings: an Official Media Partner for our Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 event

Main image courtesy: NBBJ, taken from the front cover of the latest Q3 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine.


For all the latest stadia and arena project news, make sure to check out the comprehensive Facility Watch that is featured in each and every issue of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine. You can also find out about all the latest sports venue developments from across Asia Pacific, and wider afield, at this month’s must-attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 event.

If you have not already secured your place, then make sure to do so TODAY at:

If you have not already secured your place, then make sure to do so TODAY at:


In the fifth part of this weekly series highlighting the latest sports venue developments from across the Asia Pacific region, we highlight the brand new 68,000-capacity Baku Olympic Stadium, which was the centrepiece of this year’s inaugural European Games that were held in the Azerbaijani city back in June.

Baku was awarded the inaugural European Games at the 41st EOC Congress in Rome. The ceremony was attended by Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev, who is also President of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee and the President of UEFA, Michel Platini. Azerbaijan was subsequently awarded four matches in UEFA’s pan European EURO 2020 soccer tournament – three group games and one quarter final.

For Baku 2015, there were four clusters and eighteen competition venues, twelve of which were permanent venues, of which five were new builds, namely the National Gymnastics Arena, BMX Velopark, Baku Aquatics Centre, Baku Shooting Centre and the Olympic Stadium. There were then six temporary venues, namely: the Water Polo Arena; Beach Arena; Basketball Arena; Mountain Bike Velopark; Triathlon; Cycling road race and time trial.

602867-IMG_7035__2015-05_mb General Views of Venues for Baku 2015 Baku Aquatics Center (14)

Baku Olympic Stadium hosted the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

In terms of the timeline behind the Olympic Stadium’s construction, in late 2012, the Turkish firm, Tekfen Construction and Installation Co. Inc., was awarded the Design & Build contract, which was financed by the Azerbaijan national oil company SOCAR. The foundation construction then commenced in January 2013.

The initial stadium design by the Turkish company was then transitioned to the current design by the worldwide architectural and construction service provider, Heerim Architects and Planners, based in Seoul, Korea. Heerim led the entire design team and also provided construction management services.

International engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design services for the stadium.

To meet an aggressive eighteen-month design and build schedule, the project team performed design and construction simultaneously. To maximise design flexibility, the structural design used piled raft foundations, a system more typical of high-rise buildings than stadiums.

An advanced modelling approach, i.e. BIM, also supported the accelerated schedule. The engineering team developed an automated design routine to check beam and column reinforcement against seismic code provisions, greatly speeding the design process. Precast reinforced concrete, main and secondary steel structures were all modelled using Tekla Structures 19.0 and full fabrication drawings were delivered to the contractor’s fabrication facility in Turkey.

Construction of the six storey, 65.7m-high, 225,000m² venue – that sits on a 650,000m² site – was completed in February 2015. The 68,000-capacity stadium is now a prominent landmark in the city.

It has been designed to meet the highest international standards for stadiums set by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

With the European Games now over, the Azerbaijan national football team has taken up residency at the Baku Olympic Stadium, which is now their ‘home’ ground. The stadium will also host a number of major events in the coming years, including the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games and EURO 2020 matches.


An extended version of this article, including comment from the Organising Commitee, State representatives and others involved in the project’s delivery, will feature in our forthcoming Q3 edition.

Balloon Drop Carpet Girls

The Matmut Group has just signed a naming-rights agreement for the new Bordeaux stadium for a 10-year period. From now on, the new sporting venue, which was inaugurated on 18 May of this year, will be called the ‘Matmut Atlantique’.

This new name will soon be seen on a giant totem pole installed in front of the stadium, and on the stadium roof.

Following the signing of this agreement, Daniel Havis, the Chairman of Matmut, said:

The Matmut Group strongly believes in projects that contribute to improving the quality of life in the regions where they are developed. The Matmut Atlantique is an architecturally magnificent stadium, which will undoubtedly promote trade, social interaction and the provision of local services around the sporting arena, and we are delighted to be making a contribution to its success and attractiveness. 

This commitment will prolong our substantial investment in the region. In particular, that investment will be reflected in the forthcoming finalisation of our merger agreement with the mutual Ociane, which is well-known not only to the inhabitants of Bordeaux but to everyone in the region.

We are also thrilled with the results of Union Bordeaux Bègles, which has our strong support and is another illustration of our commitment.

Nicolas Gomart, the Chief Executive Officer of the Matmut Group, added:

The Matmut Atlantique has all the characteristics of the so-called new generation of stadia, with innovative services, particularly in the digital domain. These modern services offered to spectators, and the fact that we regard the naming of stadia as an effective method of advertising, encouraged us to associate Matmut’s name with this vibrant and exciting venue.

The Matmut Group is especially pleased with the schedule for the Matmut Atlantique, which during the 2015 season will host three exhibition matches involving Union Bordeaux Bègles, a rugby club in the TOP 14 of which the Matmut Group is a partner.

The Matmut Group already has experience of naming stadia, as the stadium of LOU Rugby, a Pro D2 team located on the outskirts of Lyon, has been called the Matmut Stadium since 2011.

As a mutual insurance company, the Matmut Group is also heavily involved in sports. The Group supports a large number of sporting disciplines through high-level clubs and sports personalities, particularly in rugby, motorsports, sailing, ice-hockey, football and basketball. For the Matmut Group, sports sponsorship is an effective way of promoting its mutual values and is a natural extension of its corporate citizenship approach.

Currently, it has more than 200 partnerships in operation every year across all disciplines and levels of sporting endeavour.


The largest stadium on the Atlantic coast

With a flexible all-seater capacity of more than 42,000, the Matmut Atlantique is the largest stadium in the south-west and on the Atlantic coast. It offers a rich and diverse schedule of sports and entertainment. In addition to matches played by its resident club, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, the ground will also host some Union Bordeaux Bègles rugby matches and a number of football internationals such as the forthcoming match between France and Serbia on 7 September 2015. Finally, it will be one of the official stadia for UEFA’s Euro 2016, with 5 matches scheduled.

Designed by Herzog & De Meuron and built and operated by the VINCI and FAYAT groups, the Matmut Atlantique is a genuine architectural work entirely dedicated to the comfort of spectators. With the user-friendliness of an English-style stadium, it is also equipped with the latest technological innovations, including, in particular, a tough hybrid grass pitch and HD Wi-Fi connectivity allowing spectators to access the internet and new digital services at any time, anywhere in the ground.

Pierre Coppey, VINCI’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

I am delighted with this long-term partnership with Matmut, which is a great French company dedicated to its mutual values. This new stadium, which is now called the Matmut Atlantique, is a perfect illustration of an exemplary public-private partnership.

FAYAT’s Chief Executive Officer, Laurent Fayat, added:

We are very keen to promote our region and it is pleasing to see a big name like Matmut associated with the Bordeaux stadium, which is universally recognised for its exceptional architecture. We took pride in its construction and we will be equally proud to operate it under the name Matmut Atlantique.

China is re-emerging as one of the world’s top global sports event hosting nations, after being awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics and the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup for Men earlier this month, and all in the space of just eight days.

Now, as Beijing hosts the IAAF World Athletics Championships, and with a Chinese bid for the Asian Games in 2022 also declared last week, China is back.

Many experts are also predicting that the country will soon put forward a FIFA World Cup bid.

Just as China is re-emerging as a powerhouse in the world’s top sporting events, so is the entire Asia Pacific region, which will also play host to the 2018 Winter Olympics, 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Summer Olympics, to name but a few. This had led to a huge surge in sports venue development projects in this part of the world.

Next month’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 event – PanStadia & Arena Management magazine’s ‘live’ conference & exhibition – is set to provide the perfect platform to learn more about the regions projects, by meeting with the architects, venue representatives, etc., in one of the region’s showcase venues, the Singapore Sports Hub.

Image: The Hangzhou Olympic Sports Park – which will be featured in our forthcoming Q3 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management – is nearing completion in the Chinese city. The centrepiece will be the 80,000-seat stadium (pictured above); currently the largest stadium planned for construction in China for the next ten years. Courtesy: NBBJ.

If you haven’t already secured your place at our ‘live’ event, Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 – the unmissable conference & exhibition for those involved in sports venue design, build, management, operation, fit-out and technology – then make sure to do so online TODAY at:

The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ final in Russia will be played on a grass pitch installed by world-leading British firm SIS Pitches, it has been announced this week.

The prestigious contract for the historic Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was awarded this week by the World Cup organisers and is a second coup for the SIS Pitches negotiating team; its Eastern European division having already won the bid to install the Spartak Moscow pitch, which will host one of the World Cup semi-finals.

SIS Division Managing Director, Ilyas Kobal – part of the SIS Pitches group, which also makes synthetic grass at its factory in Maryport, Cumbria, UK – said:

It’s fantastic news. It will be a natural grass pitch. It’s our first World Cup final pitch and obviously it is a very important contract.

It was a long tender process but in the end our advantages meant even the local companies could not match us.

SIS Pitches was chosen ahead of strong competition from Russian and other international firms, having previously demonstrated its pedigree at the Luzhniki Stadium, under difficult conditions.

Kobal added:

We also did the Champions League pitch for the historic all-English 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, which was also at the Luzhniki.

At that time there was a synthetic pitch at the Luzhniki, like at many stadiums in Russia. But for the CL final it had to be played on grass, so we re-laid the pitch with grass just for one game.

SIS was chosen at the very last minute and it was a race against time. In the end we had to go outside Russia for the right kind of grass and it involved bringing 22 refrigerated trucks of turf from Slovakia.

I think it went a long way to helping us win the World Cup final. They could also see we have also laid pitches at Spartak Moscow and FC Krasnodar.

Work is already underway to transform the Luzhniki Stadium and is following recent trends in upgrading infrastructure at historic stadiums, while preserving the familiar features that are cemented in fan folklore.

Building work on the stadium will last 12 months, while SIS Pitches designs the complex pitch sub surface structure ready for installation commencing next summer.

Due to the brutal Russian winter, it will involve a system of undersoil aeration, drainage, irrigation and even heating to allow the pitch to be used all year. A custom-designed, reinforced fibre-sand rootzone will be laid and then seeded to be ready by May 2017 in time for the Confederations Cup.

The stadium will then close for a year until the World Cup, where it will also be used in the opening match, featuring the host nation.

Kobal commented:

It’s not a teardown and will hold onto the historic parts which are really beautiful. They are taking out the old Olympic track and rebuilding the stands so the spectators are close to the pitch, which will increase the atmosphere for games.”

After the World Cup, SIS Pitches Eastern European will then strip out the grass pitch and install one of its custom synthetic surfaces, capable of withstanding the winter. The stadium will then become ‘home’ to the Russian national team.

The company has also signed two year deal to maintain the pitch.


About SIS Group

SIS Group produces more than 500,000sqm of pristine artificial grass annually; custom-designed for an array of sports, schools, public spaces and also residential gardens. Much of it is a product of the SIS tufting shopfloor at its base in Maryport, Cumbria, which has provided critical jobs in a cash-strapped region for years. SIS pitches have been installed at more than 120 stadiums across the world, from Russia to Dubai.

For further information, go to:

With just over one month to go until the start of Rugby World Cup 2015, the Organising Committee, England Rugby 2015, has started its final phase of testing and readiness in preparation for the start of the tournament.

The past year has seen a robust programme of testing, preparation and observations at various tournament venues around the country. This has included in-venue testing and observation during England v Samoa at Twickenham Stadium in November 2014, England v France in the Under-20s Six Nations at Brighton Community Stadium in March 2015, The BUCS Rugby Championships Final at Twickenham Stadium in March 2015 and Northampton Saints v Saracens at Stadium MK in April 2015.

This phase of testing included desktop exercises, simulations and observations to test all aspects of delivery. These exercises included full stakeholder representation from Rugby World Cup Limited, host cities and match venues through to blue light services.

The next month will see the final preparations ahead of the start of the tournament, which will include testing transport, spectator experience and accreditation processes and elements to ensure the best possible experience for teams and spectators.

Testing and observation will take place at the following fixtures ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015:

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
8 August – Wales v Ireland, 14:30
5 September – Wales v Italy, 17:00

Twickenham Stadium, London
15 August – England v France, 20:00
5 September – England v Ireland, 14:30

The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
29 August – Barbarians v Samoa, 15:00

Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
5 September – Georgia v Japan, 16:45

Sandy Park, Exeter
Exeter Chiefs’ friendlies: 5 September and 19 September

Rugby World Cup 2015 host venues:

Thirteen match venues have been confirmed to host Rugby World Cup 2015 matches, these are:

Brighton Community Stadium

Elland Road

Kingsholm Stadium

Leicester City Stadium

Manchester City Stadium

Millennium Stadium

The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Sandy Park

St James’ Park

Stadium MK

Twickenham Stadium

Villa Park

Wembley Stadium


For further information, go to:

Image courtesy: Rugby World Cup 2015

CONCACAF names four MLS venues to host Olympic Qualifying Championship games

Comments Off on CONCACAF names four MLS venues to host Olympic Qualifying Championship games

Qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics will be played this October, with four MLS stadiums hosting the all-important games.

CONCACAF have confirmed the locations for the matches of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, which is set to run from October 1-13, as: Sporting Kansas City’s Sporting Park, LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center, Colorado Rapids’ Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium (pictured).

The first three venues will serve as the sites for the group-stage matches while Rio Tinto Stadium will host both semi-finals games on October 10 and the third-place match and final on October 13.

The tournament will see the Under-23 national teams of the US, Mexico, Canada and five other to-be-determined CONCACAF nations split into two groups of four. The US are seeded in Group A, while reigning champion and 2012 Olympic gold medallists Mexico are in Group B.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the semi-finals. The competition’s two finalists will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, and the third-place finisher will take on Colombia in a play-off for an additional spot.

Three teams from Central America and two from the Caribbean will round out the eight-team tournament with qualifiers in those respective regions scheduled for August. The draw for the group stages of the Olympic quailifying tournament will take place later that month.

Here’s the complete schedule for the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship:

Oct. 1: Group A Matchday 1 – Sporting Park
Oct. 2: Group B Matchday 1 – StubHub Center
Oct. 3: Group A Matchday 2 – Sporting Park
Oct. 4: Group B Matchday 2 – StubHub Center
Oct. 6: Group A Matchday 3 – Dick’s Sorting Goods Park
Oct. 7: Group B Matchday 3 – Dick’s Sorting Goods Park
Oct. 10: Semifinals – Rio Tinto Stadium
Oct. 13: 3rd place and Final – Rio Tinto Stadium



SIS Pitches get Azerbaijan stadium ready for Baku Games 2015

Comments Off on SIS Pitches get Azerbaijan stadium ready for Baku Games 2015

SIS Pitches have completed work at the brand new venue, Baku Olympic Stadium – which will be featured in our forthcoming Q2/Summer ’15 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management – ready for the first ever European Olympic Games later in the year. 

The SIS Eastern European team in Azerbaijan have built two brand new natural turf pitches; one training pitch and the main stadium pitch at the impressive venue.

Baku Olympic Stadium is to be used for the first European Olympic Games, with the opening ceremony taking place at the venue on 12th June 2015. The Games were designed and are to be regulated by European Olympic Committees (EOC).

The stage is currently being built over the pitch for the opening ceremony, which will see 6,500 athletes and officials in attendance, along with 5,000 volunteers and performers.

The SIS Pitches team will go in afterwards to re-turf the pitch ready for it to be used for the Games from 21st June onwards.

Following on from the Games, the venue will host games for the Azerbaijan national football team, as well as various concerts, and will fulfil FIFA’s and UEFA’s highest technical recommendations and elite stadium obligations for football stadiums.

George Mullan, CEO for SIS Pitches was very pleased to be working on this project, as he explained:

SIS Pitches are continuing to build their portfolio of work in Europe, and our team out there have already completed work in Azerbaijan, as well as Russia, Spain, Turkey and Denmark. It was great to secure this contract, and we were excited to be working on a stadium that will host the European Olympics, as well as many other sporting events.

Following the Games, both pitches will be under 12-month maintenance contracts by the SIS staff in Azerbaijan.

For more information on SIS Pitches work, please visit:

FIFA confirms football venues for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Comments Off on FIFA confirms football venues for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Seven stadiums in six cities – Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Brasília and Belo Horizonte – will stage the matches.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s and women’s football tournaments will take place in six cities: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Brasília and Belo Horizonte. The football co-host cities were confirmed after a meeting of FIFA’s Organising Committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments on Monday (16 March) in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was decided that the 58 matches will be staged at: Corinthians Arena (São Paulo), the Maracanã and Olympic Stadium (Rio de Janiero), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador), Mané Garrincha Stadium (Brasília), Amazônia Arena (Manaus) and the Mineirão (Belo Horizonte).

Rio 2016 President, Carlos Nuzman, said:

The inclusion of Manaus in the Rio 2016 Olympic schedule will enrich the tournament with a visit of the football players to one of the most iconic locations in the world. I am certain that the Amazon will welcome the Olympic world with a memorable celebration.

Football is the only sport that will be hosted outside of Rio de Janeiro, with the tournament taking the Rio 2016 Games to the rest of Brazil. There will be 16 teams in the men’s competition and 12 in the women’s tournament. Further details about the Rio 2016 football tournaments will be confirmed by FIFA and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in the coming days.

Marco Polo Del Nero, chairman of the FIFA Organising Committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments, said:

The Olympic football tournaments will be a fantastic opportunity to revive the great atmosphere seen during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, not only in Rio de Janeiro, but also in the other five cities. They did an excellent job in 2014, and now they can use the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure already in place to unite the country for a major event once more. I am confident that the participating teams will have an unforgettable Olympic experience.

Two South American teams are already confirmed in the Rio 2016 men’s football competition: Brazil, as host country, and Argentina, as the winners of the South American Under-20 championship. In the women’s tournament, Colombia confirmed their place, along with hosts Brazil, by finishing runners-up in last year’s Copa America. All the remaining places will be decided by April 2016.

The men’s Olympic football competition features players up to the age of 23 (born after 31 December 1992), with the exception of three ‘over-age’ players per nation. The 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four and the competition will begin on 4 August, one day before the Olympic Games opening ceremony. The two best-performing members of each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 20 August, a day before the closing ceremony, at the Maracanã Stadium.

In the women’s competition there are no age restrictions. The 12 teams will be split into three groups of four, and matches will start on 3 August. The top two teams in each group and the two best third-placed teams will progress to the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 19 August, also at the Maracanã Stadium.


Image: The Amazônia Arena will host Olympic football in one of the world’s most iconic locations. (Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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

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

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.

Qatar looks set to reduce number of 2022 FIFA World Cup host venues

Comments Off on Qatar looks set to reduce number of 2022 FIFA World Cup host venues

This week, organisers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup have announced they are seriously considering reducing the number of host venues down from twelve to as few as eight, with Umm Salal stadium (pictured above) being one of several venue designs that may not now come to fruition.

In a statement, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy for the 2022 FIFA World Cup cited the size of the host nation as a factor in this decision: “The process of selecting the final proposed line-up of host venues is ongoing in consultation with FIFA. Given the size of our country, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee decided to look into reducing the originally proposed 12 venues to fit the country’s specifications, while ensuring best playing conditions for all 64 matches.”

The statement also reiterated the fact that eight is the minimum number of stadiums generally accepted by FIFA for the hosting of a World Cup: “The 2022 Local Organising Committee will submit, by December 2014, a proposal for an appropriate number of host venues, whilst ensuring a suitable legacy for the country and the national league after the tournament. The approval of the final number of stadiums is envisaged by the FIFA Executive Committee by March 2015.”