Sport and the City: Stadiums

Art-Invest Real Estate, Future Places Studio, and Okana have published the second of the two part 'Sport and the City' research report.

  • June 24, 2024

Sports stadiums are a vital piece of a cities social and cultural infrastructure. With architectural designs that sit proudly on a city’s skyline, stadiums have become like modern-day cathedrals to the millions who pour into them on a weekly basis across the globe. 

However, stadiums have increasingly become disconnected to modern, progressive cities. Sitting empty for large parts of the week, stadiums should be integrated placemaking anchors which are operated as versatile, year round community hubs.

This report aims to provide a strategic vision for architects, developers, municipalities, and stadium owners to create and foster inclusive and engaging urban spaces.

A vision for the future stadium

By 2050, 39 of the 92 stadiums in the top four leagues of English football will face a high risk from more than three climate hazards, such as extreme rainfall, drought, flooding, and windstorms.

Commenting on the new research, Jonathan Seebacher, Okana Leadership Board, said: “We are delighted to support the Sport and City paper. For Okana, Place Shaping is all about people and experience – Sport events and stadia are becoming an increasing catalyst in shaping cities and places as they start to blur the boundaries beyond traditional typologies and approaches.”

James Rayner, Okana Partner Council, said: “In their transition to be more liveable, healthier, greener, and resilient places, cities need to make the most of their destination assets like stadiums. This report explores how existing and future stadiums will be more multi-purpose, integrated, and connected hubs at the heart of communities.”

The research focusses on four areas:

  • 1. Anchors and hubs

    Sports stadiums as anchors to stimulate and enable wider investment and growth.

  • 2. Connected to place

    Stadiums that are an integral part of their local context.

  • 3. Versatile

    Stadiums as a versatile asset class providing a dynamic and mixed offer.

  • 4. Innovators

    Stadiums that tackle climate change, pioneer the use of new materials, modern methods of construction and smart technologies.

“Sports stadiums act as powerful ‘win-win’ anchors in mixed-use developments. Integrating seamlessly with retail, food, and entertainment, they spark innovative concepts for versatile, experiential public destinations.”

Geoffrey Morrison, Okana Leadership Board. 

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