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

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



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



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



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

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


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



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



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


Wembley set up for Froch v Groves

Wembley to host double-header day for RLWC2013

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Wembley will host a specially branded day of semi-finals for the Rugby League World Cup 2013. The semi-final double header will be known as The Big Hit. RLWC2013 General Manager Sally Bolton said:

Tickets for the marquee games at the tournament are selling really well and we know that the appetite for great sport and unique events especially in London is huge. So we have created The Big Hit to underline what a fantastic, value for money event the semi-final double header is for the London sports fan.

The Big Hit concept was devised in consultation with Mark Evans, the person behind the hugely successful Big Game concept which introduced radical new pricing and marketing strategies into Rugby Union and helped break the world record attendance for a club game.

Wembley has proved capable of holding multiple sport events since it opted for a Desso Grassmaster pitch, which is popular with stadiums that host rugby and soccer. Old Trafford stadium will host the RLWC final and industry commentators have suggested that it will also need Grassmaster to avoid pitch damage for its regular Premiership and Champions League games.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:

Rugby League World Cup 2013 will offer Londoners and visitors to the capital the chance to see some of the world’s best players battle it out in one of our finest sporting venues.

Former Wigan and Great Britain star and RLWC2013 Ambassador Martin Offiah said:

Wembley is an iconic stadium and the chance to see both semi-finals there on one day is amazing. I’ve no doubt it will be filled to the rafters for The Big Hit.

London Mayor Boris Johnson takes a 'Big Hit' for London from RLWC2013 ambassador Martin Offiah, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. The Big Hit will see RLWC2013 semi-finals double header at Wembley on Saturday 23rd NovemberPicture date: Wednesday April 10, 2013. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

London Mayor Boris Johnson takes a ‘Big Hit’ for London from RLWC2013 ambassador Martin Offiah. Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.