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Volume 6 No. 212


Populous, architects of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, Sochi 2014 Olympic stadium and Soccer City 2010 World Cup stadium, has "been selected as designers of the new Rostov Stadium" in Russia, according to EVOLO. It will be the fourth stadium that Populous has designed in Russia to be used for the 2018 World Cup, together with Kazan, Saransk and Sochi. The stadium will have a capacity of 45,000 seats for the World Cup and "will be scaled down to 25,000 seats in legacy." The concept had "embraced sustainable credentials, as it will be the core of a green city project, which protects the wetlands to the south of the river" (EVOLO, 12/8).

Naming-rights deals are becoming increasingly important for the financial stability of int'l stadiums, according to the second edition of the International Stadia Operator Survey, by Stamford, Conn.-based Repucom International and Cologne-based Sport+Markt AG, The report, scheduled to be released to clients this week, is based on data provided in September by 70 stadia operators across the globe addressing a number of venue-related issues. The venues represented in the survey ranged in capacity from 10,000 to 100,011 seats, with an average of 34,169. At nearly 80% of the venues, football was the primary sport. As a result, the weighting leans more toward European venues.

THE DETAILS: Among the key findings provided exclusively to SBD Global:

  • 16% of stadia are using solar energy, up from 5% in '10. That number will grow, as most venues under construction or development include solar energy components. Estádio Nacional de Brasília, for example, which will host the 2014 FIFA Men’s Word Cup finals and the 2016 Summer Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies, is expected to become the world’s first zero-net-energy stadium when it opens next summer.
  • Parking spaces directly at the venue are still rare: the average venue can accommodate 3.7% of its fans. As a result, 83% of stadium managers listed public transportation issues as one of the most important aspects of their jobs. On-site E-payment solutions are now available at 34% of the venues, up from 25%.
  • Naming rights revenue continues to grow in importance. The study shows 46% of the stadia represented had a corporate moniker, up from 33%. London-based BetFair, the world’s largest online betting site, became the first naming rights partner at a U.S. pari-mutuel track, at California’s Hollywood Park. The biggest naming rights story of '12, however, belongs to Allianz.
Sport+Markt senior stadia consultant Maria Walsh said, “One interesting development on the naming rights scene this year has been the global expansion of Allianz bank. They now hold four premium naming rights deals globally, with a combined investment of around $13M per year." The Munich-based bank signed deals at stadiums in Sydney, Nice and Watford, England, to go along with a seven-year old deal with FC Bayern Munich.

Media reports in 2012 suggest that three of the four most lucrative naming-rights deals signed this year belong to German bank Allianz.
Rank Stadium (Country) Buyer
No. of Years
Avg. Annual Value
Total Value
Allianz Stadium (Australia)
Allianz 10 $2.5M $25M
Allianz Riviera (France)*
Allianz 9
Allianz Park (U.K.)*
Allianz 6
Betfair Hollywood Park (U.S.) Betfair 5
$2M $10M
* Under construction, scheduled to open in '13

China released a five-year plan on Monday, vowing "to increase the nation's expanse of public sporting areas to 1.5 sqm per head of population by '15." Under the plan drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, and the General Administration of Sport, China will build more public sports facilities in the next three years "to guarantee people's rights to take exercises and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle" (XINHUA, 12/11). ... Roger Federer said that Brazil needs to improve its tennis facilities if it is to hold future ATP World Tour events. Federer said Brazil needed "to think bigger" to stage elite tournaments in the future. Federer said, "I think some things need to be improved if you want to make sure the fans have the best experience possible" (IANS, 12/10). ... The Irish FA said that "work on the Windsor Park redevelopment is due to begin" in September after it formally submitted its planning application for the project. Around £29.2M ($46.8M) is being spent on the project, which will raise the stadium's capacity to 18,000 (BBC, 12/11).

TEE UP: Guacalito Golf Course, Nicaragua’s first 18-hole beachfront golf course, will be ready for play on Feb. 1. The new golf course is part of Guacalito de la Isla, a $250M, 1,670-acre private beach community developed by Pellas Development Group on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast (GOLF INC. MAGAZINE, 12/11). ... A new golf course near the World Heritage Site of Uluru in central Australia "is reaching the end of the planning stage." The Ayers Rock Resort, owned by the Australian government-backed Indigenous Land Corp., is behind the proposed course (GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTURE, 12/5). ... Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design will create Batu Bay Golf Club in Inner Mongolia. Dana Fry, a company principal, will oversee the project until its completion. The resort golf course, perched on a bluff overlooking the Batu Bay reservoir, will be an 18-hole layout built on sand dunes, with a Banyan Tree Hotel located on site. The owner is Oriental Holding Group, based in Ordos, Inner Mongolia (Fry/Straka).