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Get switched on in 2014
The new PanStadia & Arena Management APP  
will be available for download from the App  
Store/Google Play by end March 2014 ready  
to include the Spring 2014 edition.
Watch out also for our new Facility Watch service 
to keep you regularly updated on the latest sports 
and entertainment venue projects around the world.

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
42
M
-E Engineers is among the top MEP 
engineering firms in the world for 
sports venues. They have completed 
more than 120 sports projects, including 
over 50 professional league venues and 
seven with retractable roofs. M-E has 
authored technical reports and standards 
for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS in 
the US and for FIFA, World Cup Cricket, 
and several Olympics world-wide. 
The firm’s representatives are:
Michael Hart, P.E. – Principal and CEO
George Reiher, P.E. – Principal, Electrical
Chris Jones, RCDD – Principal, Director 
Technology Design Group
Mohit Mehta, MSD – Director of 
Sustainable Design
Kevin Marschke – Principal, Event Overlay
What strategies are you devising 
for new build stadiums and arenas 
to keep energy bills to a minimum 
during the next few decades?
Mehta: Reducing operating energy 
costs is not about incorporating 
a few ‘green’ features or a token 
‘buzzword’ system. Rather, minimising 
energy use is a philosophy and a 
shift in how we think about, plan for, 
design, construct, and operate these 
stadiums and arenas.
Unlike commercial office buildings 
and other common building types 
with consistent occupation and use, 
sporting venues use large amounts 
of energy and resources in very short 
spans. It is important to understand 
how these facilities operate to channel 
our efforts towards the areas with the 
biggest environmental impacts.
In trying to approach energy use as it 
applies to sports venues world-wide, 
the following diverse and interconnected 
components must be addressed: 
masterplanning, including energy 
masterplanning for low/zero-carbon; 
design and construction; operations 
and maintenance; hosting and preparing 
for one-time major events such as FIFA 
World Cup, Olympics, playoffs or NFL 
Super Bowl; and legacy mode. Each 
component has different issues and 
vocabularies, and how each is addressed 
depends on the particular social, 
A Superbowl typically puts additional demands on energy supplies.
Mohit Mehta, MSD
Michael Hart, P.E.
Kevin Marschke
Master-
planning
Design + 
Construction
Major 
Events
Sports 
Venue
Operation + 
Maintenance
Legacy 
Mode
We asked a round table of M-E Engineers’ 
experts to give us the latest on the topic 
of energy costs and green initiatives.
Re-engineering 
energy

www.psam.uk.com
43
showcase
CONSTRUCTION 
& engineering
economic, climatic, and ecological 
parameters for the site.
The building envelope (including size, type 
and orientation of fenestration) is one 
area that often plays a much bigger role 
than mechanical systems in determining 
the longevity and energy efficiency 
of a building. Thoughtful design and 
exploring how design decisions will 
affect efficiency is really important. 
MEP systems and equipment are 
selected based largely on the demands 
of the architecture, so the whole 
design team needs to work together to 
minimise energy use and environmental 
impact. For our systems selections as 
MEP engineers, we make sure to explore 
many different solutions. We have also 
had success incorporating smart building 
technology in stadiums. When combined 
with some data analytics it improves 
efficiency and reduces carbon footprints, 
significantly reducing operational costs 
year after year.
What part does location play?
Mehta: Location, location, location 
– is the key consideration that we 
like to begin every discussion with 
when it comes to energy efficiency, 
reducing energy bills and carbon 
impacts of these venues. The location 
determines the weather conditions, 
what infrastructure is available, even 
the uses, both planned and future
of the venue. Obviously a stadium in 
Qatar requires significant cooling and 
dehumidification, while a venue in Sochi 
would focus more on heating. Our 
approach can be summed up by the 
following ‘Order of Operations’: reduce 
energy demand through aggressive load 
reduction; use free energy resources 
available to us depending on the 
location and passive engineering; use 
the most efficient technology possible; 
recover waste energy; and incorporate 
renewable resources and energy. In our 
experience, success is best achieved if 
each step is exhausted before moving to 
the next step.
Regarding self-generation technologies 
like wind turbines, waste heat to 
power technologies, microturbines, 
gas turbines, fuel cells, and advanced 
energy storage systems, we always 
research the feasibility of these options 
for each unique project. Using self-
generation can be especially helpful 
if peak-load reduction is of value in 
a particular location. Often we find 
utility-based incentives that may 
help offset the cost of some of these 
innovative approaches.
Is LED technology going to come to 
the rescue?
Reiher: LED is a very energy efficient 
light source that is finally becoming a 
feasible option. Indoor sporting venues 
that replace metal halide fixtures will 
reduce their energy consumption for 
lighting by at least 30% and maintain 
the same light levels. LED sports 
lighting for outdoor venues is behind the 
indoor market, but will likely become 
viable in the next couple of years as 
technology and manufacturing methods 
improve. LEDs have a lamp life many 
times longer than a metal halide light 
fixture. Despite all of the advantages to 
LED lighting, the biggest drawback has 
been initial cost. LEDs still cost two to 
three times more than traditional metal 
halide fixtures. For indoor venues as a 
whole, LED lighting can be comparable 
or even less expensive: the lighting and 
control systems required are simpler, 
the lamp life is longer and maintenance 
is reduced, and they use less energy. 
This lowers operating power costs, 
but it also helps reduce the overall 
electrical energy demand, which 
ultimately sets the electrical energy 
cost in venues where energy costs are 
based on peak demand. Munn Arena on 
the Michigan State University campus 
recently upgraded their existing event 
lighting to LED. The payback of the 
initial investment in the LED system is 
expected to be less than nine years.
Is outdated equipment a factor in the 
build new versus renovate debate?
Hart: Outdated MEP equipment 
generally does not drive the new vs. 
renovate debate, but it really depends 
on what a community is looking to 
improve in a venue. Labour and design 
costs can be higher in a renovation, 
because the design requires so much 
more investigation and coordination, 
but those costs can be offset by reusing 
some of the pieces or infrastructure. 
It can be hard to justify replacing 
inefficient equipment unless it is nearing 
the end of its service life, just because 
of the large initial investment. But the 
inefficiencies of outdated equipment like 
chillers, boilers, water heaters and air 
conditioners makes continued efforts 
to refurbish and ‘limp along’ even less 
desirable. The energy inefficiencies 
often outweigh the initial savings 
over time. 
Jones: Many existing stadiums are 
doing smaller renovations, things like 
adding the latest IPTV, wi-fi, and DAS 
systems and applications to improve 
fan experience. While these systems 
require additional equipment rooms 
and distribution rooms that most older 
buildings don’t currently have, they can 
usually be added. Technology should 
definitely be considered early in the 
design process regardless of new or 
renovation. Equipment rooms and 
distribution rooms need to be neatly 
integrated in the overall programme 
and architectural plans. For example, 
communication systems have cable 
length limitations so it’s important to 
have this all developed early. Just like 
MEP systems, retro fitting technology 
will likely have higher labour costs 
due to working around existing spaces 
and finishes, and could also require 
phasing or multiple labour shifts in 
active buildings.
Nationals Park was the world’s first major 
professional stadium to become LEED Certified.

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
What happens in a renovation?
Hart: The first step in any renovation 
is a full assessment, including the MEP 
systems. From there you can determine 
which systems and components must 
be completely removed and what 
can remain.
 For example piping systems, with 
their 40-45 year lifespan, may remain 
while the pumps and chillers will need 
to be replaced resulting in improved 
efficiency. Air handlers, especially 
large units serving seating bowls, may 
have originally been shoehorned into 
the building or literally built around 
during initial construction. This can 
make replacement cost prohibitive 
when compared to a full refurbishment 
addressing things like motors, bearing, 
dampers and controls. Even today it 
is still not uncommon to find older 
VAV air systems utilising inlet guide 
vanes on fans instead of VFDs (variable 
speed drives). Changes like that are 
easy to make, with a good payoff in 
energy savings.
What are the best tactics when 
powering a one-off event such as a 
Superbowl or an Olympics?
Marschke: Each event has different 
requirements, different resources 
available, and different challenges. 
These special events bring more fans 
than stadiums typically accommodate, 
and many surrounding users to provide 
extra services, i.e. enhanced television 
broadcast, large amounts of written 
press media, enhanced security, 
extremely large staffs of workforce 
and volunteers, corporate and sponsor 
hospitality and many times ceremonies 
for medals; or in the case of the Super 
Bowl and an Olympic opening/closing 
ceremony, a large stage production. 
The additional required electrical 
loads required to energise the event 
enhancements can range from 4 MVA to 
25 MVA.
We always begin by doing a thorough 
venue audit to see what’s available 
and how those capacities can be used. 
The overlay design takes into account 
anticipated loads and unique redundancy 
requirements. Especially in large events 
more uses are considered ‘event critical’ 
and require additional backup and 
emergency power, including television 
broadcast, security, technology, timing 
and scoring, medical facilities. Recent 
issues at large events have placed the 
field of play lighting into that event 
critical category, especially with HID 
type light fixtures which can take up to 
Consol Energy Center achieved LEED Gold.
20 minutes to restrike once a power 
failure occurs. 
Any additional power needed is 
generally supplied by: redistributing 
existing venue capacity, temporary 
utility power and temporary generators. 
Each has its pros and cons. The overlay 
design balances the needs, costs, and 
environmental concerns to come up 
with the best solution for a particular 
site and venue.
What role do you play in the LEED 
certification process?
Mehta: We play an imperative role in 
the LEED certification process. From 
providing key input, guidance to the 
design & construction teams and 
documentation of credits relating to 
our disciplines of mechanical, electrical, 
plumbing, technology, architectural 
lighting, and sports lighting to a more 
substantial role of shepherding the 
entire LEED process for some of our 
international sporting projects.
Many countries have developed rating 
systems to define measure and 
benchmark ‘green buildings’. BREEAM 
is a voluntary measurement rating 
established in the UK by the Building 
Research Establishment (BRE) and is 
a vigorous environmental assessment 
method. The well-recognised US Green 
Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership 
in Energy and Environmental Design 
(LEED) rating system is another 
framework. LEED targets efficiencies 
in categories of: Sustainable Sites, 
Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, 
Materials & Resources and Indoor 
Environmental Quality. The intent is to 
promote healthful, durable, affordable, 
and environmentally sound practices in 
building design and construction. Neither 
LEED nor BREEAM address sports 
venues specifically. The relatively 
new Global Sustainability Assessment 
System (GSAS) addresses unique 
regional needs in Qatar and actually 
does have a sports-specific rating 
scheme. What’s important to realise 
is that these systems aid the design 
process and provide a ‘road-map’ for 
sound construction practices, but all 
have limitations. It is up to the design 
and construction professionals to use 
them to foster creative and responsible 
design and construction methods for 
sustainable stadiums.
It has been an interesting process 
applying these rating systems to 
sports venues. We are proud to have 
been involved in many pioneering 
efforts with LEED and sports facilities. 
These facilities have some unique 
challenges that other building types 
usually don’t, like immovable deadlines, 
public budgeting and accountability, 
technology readiness, and lack of 
reliable benchmarking in general to 
measure them against. 
Nationals Park (LEED Silver) is the 
world’s first major professional stadium 
to become LEED Certified by the US 
Green Building Council; Consol Energy 
Center (LEED Gold) became the first 
NHL arena to achieve LEED certification; 
Target Field achieved LEED Silver 
Certification, only the second MLB 
ballpark to attain such a lofty standard; 
the new Miami Marlins Ballpark is the 
first retractable-roof stadium to be 
LEED Gold Certified and the 2014 FIFA 
World Cup Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, 
has set the very aggressive goal of 
LEED Platinum certification. n
showcase
  CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
44

leaders in stadia design
mep solutions   www.me-engineers.com

Of the 
moment
Components that made up 
the shooting venue for the 
London Olympic Games are 
now functioning in various new 
roles after their ‘pre-legacy’ 
impermanent outing in 2012.
T
he torch is extinguished, the 
athletes are training for new medals 
and the television crews have moved on 
to other spectacles. With the Olympic 
and Paralympic Games behind us, 
the pressure is now on for the much-
promised legacy to materialise.
The Olympic Park is undergoing an 
extensive makeover and its phased 
reopening began in June with a series 
of high-profile events – but London 
2012 needs to have a legacy beyond 
the spotlight of the main park; each 
satellite venue must yield value for the 
future. One year on from the Games, the 
Olympic and Paralympic shooting venue 
is already setting a fine example.
During the Olympic Games the venue 
was located at the Royal Artillery 
Barracks on Woolwich Common. It 
featured three temporary shooting 
ranges with distinctive spotted white 
enclosures, and was conceived with a 
specific legacy vision in mind: productive 
reuse of the venue’s constituent parts
whether together or separately. This 
goal resulted in a highly transitory 
structure with no permanent elements, 
leaving Woolwich Common unscarred.
Vision for reuse
Rather than build something new from 
scratch and then sell it on, the design 
PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
46
The London 2012 Olympic 
and Paralympic shooting 
venue generated positive 
perceptions of the sport.
Image copyright: Hufton+Crow
Main image copyright: J.L.Diehl

www.psam.uk.com
47
showcase
CONSTRUCTION 
& engineering
team took their reuse-based vision a 
step further by opting to incorporate, 
wherever possible, materials that had 
been used before. This meant that the 
shooting venue was in a sense a legacy 
project itself, with its own past life that 
the team calls the “pre-legacy”.

We could have designed new, bespoke 
elements, but we liked the idea that 
something had been used previously, 
and that this was just another step in its 
journey,” says Mott MacDonald buildings 
and infrastructure director James 
Middling. Accordingly, the enclosures’ 
main steel structure was constructed 
from rented trusses of the type used 
for rock concerts and festivals. “We 
designed the structure so that it would 
come together for the Games and then 
go back into the rental market,” says 
Middling. “Many of the components had 
already been around the world and put 
up and taken down hundreds of times.
Meanwhile, piled foundations were 
created from reclaimed oil pipelines 
previously used in Aberdeen. These 
were subsequently removed after 
the Games and sold back to the piling 
contractor Roger Bullivant for use on 
other projects.
This commitment to building with 
recovered materials wherever possible 
shrunk the carbon and water footprint 
of the venue, and motivated the team 
to minimise the materials needed in the 
first place. For example, timber baffles 
instead of a full roof above the shooting 
ranges were enough to satisfy safety 
requirements, and concrete was limited 
to the small amounts needed to create 
a stable slab from which competitors 
would shoot.
Other elements had to be bought 
new for this project, but are also 
being reused in legacy. For example, 
contractors have bought back fans, 
lighting and plywood from the venue, 
and the PVC manholes and soakaway 
crates used for the venue’s drainage 
were exhumed from the ground for use 
elsewhere.
The venue has not only been dismantled 
into a collection of individual parts – it 
has also moved on to new sporting 
purposes. The two smaller of the 
three enclosures – comprising fabric 
skins, tensioning rings and some steel 
elements such as spigots and clip pins 
– have been sold for reuse at a shooting 
club, youth football club and equestrian 
centre, all in south west England, while 
the sport elements of the ranges – 
comprising the range walls, astroturf, 
targets, baffles, lighting, microphones 
and other electronic systems – are 
confirmed to be reused at the Glasgow 
2014 Commonwealth Games. There is 
also the possibility that the finals range 
will be used for the 2016 Olympics’   

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
in Rio, Brazil. Middling says this would 
be the first time that core components 
of a venue have moved directly from 
one major international Games to the 
next. “It shows that they are not just 
temporary venues – ‘demountable 
venues’ is a more correct description, 
he adds.
Ideological legacy
Beside its physical afterlife, the 
Royal Artillery Barracks also has an 
ideological legacy. For one thing, it has 
helped to foster positive perceptions 
of shooting. Spectators watched the 
events within a modern, colourful and 
fun-looking setting, in contrast to the 
conservative, conventional image often 
associated with the sport. “Good design 
can capture the imagination of the 
public,” says Middling.
But the biggest ideological impact of 
the project is within the field of venue 
design. This venue is an exemplar of the 
way in which London 2012 overturned 
preconceptions of temporary 
structures. Like the wider Games, the 
Royal Artillery Barracks showcased 
well designed structures that acted 
as transient overlays to existing 
environments, and showed off the city 
as a backdrop.
The shooting venue was a temporary 
structure designed to feel like a 
permanent one. Its striking architecture 
and substantial double-skinned 
construction made spectators feel 
that they were getting the full Olympic 
experience in a noteworthy venue, 
rather than watching a minor event 
in a makeshift tent. “Spectators for 
the shooting events were paying the 
same prices as for events staged in 
permanent venues on the main Olympic 
park. It was important that they felt 
there was equality of experience.” says 
Middling. “Many contractors say that 
temporary venues just can’t live up to 
permanent ones. I don’t think it’s true.
Borrowing from its wealth of experience 
in designing permanent sport venues, 
Mott MacDonald applied a major project 
design approach and sophisticated 
BIM design, analysis and scheduling 
processes to this temporary venue. The 
results outstripped expectations, and 
it is hoped the underlying philosophy 
of transience and reuse combined with 
engineering and architectural excellence 
will influence the design of major 
international sporting events for years 
to come.
Mott MacDonald is already applying 
lessons learned from the Royal Artillery 
Barracks in its master planning role 
on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 
Rio de Janeiro has greater demand 
than London for permanent venues, 
so Middling predicts that the 2016 
Olympics will not showcase temporary 
structures quite to the same extent. 
But he says the 2020 host city, Tokyo, is 
likely to take heavy cues from London’s 
temporary and overlay venues.
He emphasises that procurement is the 
key to creating a truly temporary venue 
that can be dispersed back into the 
rental market. Procuring appropriate 
materials is important – for example, 
the shooting venue’s fabric skins were 
made from phthalate-free PVC rather 
than ETFE, as the latter hardens in 
the sun and is therefore unsuitable for 
reuse – but getting contracts right is 
fundamental. Mott MacDonald ensured 
that many of the supply chain contracts 
contained buy-back clauses, leading to 
the swift sale and reuse of elements, 
and avoiding the costs of keeping items 
in storage while searching for a buyer.
The Royal Artillery Barracks was a 
central contributor to London 2012’s 
portfolio of bar-raising temporary 
venues. Last year’s Games proved 
that impermanent venues do not have 
to be artless or inefficient, and set a 
new sustainable template for future 
international competitions. “The Games 
opened people’s eyes to what you can 
do,” says Middling. “London changed the 
industry forever.” n
showcase
  CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
48
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic shooting 
venue provided a spectator experience on a par 
with permanent venues, although it was made up 
entirely of demountable structures.
Image copyright: 
Hufton+Crow

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
50
50
50
London Olympic 
Velodrome

In the early stages of the design for 
the Olympic Velodrome the design team 
were keen to use a cable net structure 
to achieve a more elegant form to 
the double curved roof,” recounts 
Davendra Dabasia, Project Director – 
Mace PMP. “However, as this had not 
been undertaken in an indoor arena in 
the UK before, a traditional steel roof 
much like the Aquatics Centre roof was 
progressed. This decision was re-visited 
at Stage D and with the input of Pfeifer 
and their best in class knowledge of 
delivering these types of structures, the 
client felt confident in taking the bold 
step to move to a cable net structure. 
This decision was fully vindicated in 
terms of aesthetics, cost, programme, 
safety and sustainability upon 
completion of the project and it has won 
numerous awards as a result.
q
 Covering a 6,000-seater arena, 
the roof corresponds to the cycling 
track on the inside: smoothly curved. It 
also corresponds to the environment 
with its distinctive form and 
architectural lightness.
The basis of this elegant structure is 
built up by a cable structure, having a 
concave shape in one direction and a 
convex form in the other section. This 
saddle shape is achieved by connecting 
the cable net to an oscillating 
compression ring at the circumference 
of the building.
u
 14,200 metres of cables, used as 
double cables in each gridline, were laid 
out on the ground and connected with 
nearly 1,100 custom-made clamps. The 
clamps integrated the support for the 
non-structural panel elements, which in 
turn were the basis for the roofing.
C
able structures are the light-
weight backbone of a variety of 
wide span structures covering many 
international top class stadiums and 
arenas worldwide. “This is what our 
team loves to do most and where all our 
expertise falls into place,” says Thomas 
Hermeking, Sales Manager of the Cable 
Structure Division of Pfeifer Seil- und 
Hebetechnik GmbH. “These are the 
projects where the team needs to look 
beyond the interfaces and to understand 
the limits of engineering.
Cable nets  
– recent history
Pfeifer has realised numerous stadium 
roofs since the early 1980s. Projects 
like the National Sports Complex in 
Kuala Lumpur, the Stuttgart Stadium 
and Abuja Velodrome have built up an 
excellent international track record in 
the stadium business. These successes 
mean that Pfeifer is recommended 
and chosen when a project requires 
an experienced and reliable specialty 
contractor which can take over the 
full scope of engineering, fabrication 
and erection.
Stadiums for the 2006 Soccer World 
Championship in Germany really did 
push the borders for cable nets and 
developed the market. From then on all 
major sports events considered cable 
solutions as a must for their sometimes 
unique roof designs. Pfeifer indeed took 
advantage of this development in the 
years of development leading up to the 
2010 Soccer World Championship. 
South Africa had been in need of 
experienced specialty roof contractors 
that would take over full responsibility, 
not only for the structural cables, but 
for the whole stadium cover. Adjusting 
its services to the client’s needs, Pfeifer 
performed two contracts on iconic 
roofs in Durban and Cape Town.
The London 
experience
The Olympics and London 2012 have 
seen cable structures at their best. 
Nearly invisible, but supporting high 
loads and posh roof structures – like 
the Velodrome. And also serving 
temporarily for specific transportation 
and loading, as at the opening and 
closing ceremonies of the Games.
Pfeifer specialises in custom tailored cable structure services for sports facilities.
Customised cables
The net made from cables and clamps 
was then lifted in a pre-engineered 
and controlled sequence, connected 
to the compression ring and tensioned 
by hydraulic equipment. This process 
was managed during January to March 
2010. The short, optimised, erection 
period contributed considerably to the 
Velodrome reaching completion as the 
first of all the sports buildings being 
prepared for the London Games.
q
 The cables form part of the 
finalised roof structure in a way of 
understatement. They can be identified 
from underneath by the interested 
spectator only – but as part of the 
whole roof design.
Shape of the velodrome roof.
Inside the 
velodrome.
Laying out the cable net.

www.psam.uk.com
showcase
CONSTRUCTION 
& engineering
Ceremonial cables
During June 2011 the clouds cleared 
above the main stadium in the Olympic 
Park as regards what the events at the 
opening and closing ceremonies would 
require structurally. An additional 
cable net, actually a number of cable 
structures to be exact, were to be 
integrated in the roof structure as 
required for the events.
A range of cable sizes, from 17mm 
up to 65mm, were used. Again, 
customised clamps and connections 
to the existing roof had to be made. 
The ongoing detailed engineering for 
the services using the cable nets had 
to be accommodated. The loads of the 
equipment to be supported by these 
nets finally resulted in a total of 600 
tons. At a certain stage reasonable 
interfaces had to be defined in order to 
finalise the fabrication of the cable nets.
u
 Four different cable nets were then 
pre-assembled on the existing pitch, 
without doing harm to the grass, lifted, 
connected and tensioned one after the 
other during January and February 2012.
The cable nets used for the ceremonies 
were nearly invisible to the spectators, 
who were more fascinated by the 
actual events in the stadium, but they 
performed strongly.
During the Olympic Games Pfeifer 
was responsible for the necessary 
inspection works on its structures. 
The engineered dismantling of the 
ceremony cables, since they were only 
temporary, followed after the Olympic 
and Paralympic Games were finished.
Main stadium 
refurbishment
The London 2012 Olympics main 
stadium was originally meant to be 
a temporary item, at least for the 
most part. Now the City of London 
has succeeded in finding users for the 
stadium and has also secured the Rugby 
World Cup 2015 and the track and field 
world championship 2017. For these 
reasons the stadium will be refurbished 
according to the relevant sporting 
specifications, which means that there 
will be a new, wider roof on top of 
it – a cable-based structure. Pfeifer 
has been commissioned to supply a 
cable net, again with full responsibility 
for engineering, supply of cables, all 
connections and the installation.
All London contracts have been awarded 
to Pfeifer for a full scope of engineering, 
fabrication and erection. This latest 
contract for Pfeifer on the London 
Legacy Stadium is a signal for the 
market of light-weight tensile structures 
– a signal that good cooperation and 
performance is acknowledged by the 
client. Partnership is about solving 
problems and not causing some. This 
is the way to grow the future market 
for light-weight tensile structures. The 
London experience will go on. n
more information
www.pfeifer.de/en/cable-structures
© LOCOG, Anthony Palmer

Worldwide architects, engineers and clients rely on our 
expertise, experience and service during all stages 
of planning, fabrication and installation of cable structures. 
Lightweight cable structures worldwide
www.pfeifer.de
PFEIFER 
SEIL- UND HEBETECHNIK GMBH
51

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
52
Roger Maslin, MD of Wembley National Stadium Limited, highlights  
a remarkable year for Wembley Stadium and explains how the venue 
deploys facilities and staff to help implement the vision of various 
event owners.
A year to remember
F
ew venues can boast a history of 
sport and entertainment as rich 
as Wembley Stadium’s but 2013 has 
been a year to rival any, especially as it 
included the double celebration of The 
FA’s 150th anniversary and Wembley’s 
90th birthday.
It is only fitting, therefore, that the 
stadium should have a programme of 
events to match and the 2013 calendar 
has been arguably the best since re-
opening in 2007.
Wembley National Stadium Limited’s 
Managing Director, Roger Maslin, 
reflects on a year to savour: 

Unquestionably, in such a notable year 
for both organisations, it was vital that 
we not only celebrated these occasions 
with the best events but continued 
to showcase what we can offer on 
a global stage in terms of sport and 
music entertainment.
The diversity of events highlighted Maslin’s 
point, as England played five anniversary 
games at Wembley, the NFL hosted two 
regular-season games for the first time, 
and a mouth-watering music calendar 
brought The Killers, Bruce Springsteen, 
Robbie Williams and Roger Waters, as well 
as the Capital Summertime Ball.

We’re both privileged and proud as 
an organisation to be the home of the 
England football team,” Maslin adds. 
“Fans throughout England travel to 
support their national team at Wembley 
and it is vital to give them the best 
possible experience, every time. It was 
an incredible atmosphere at the Poland 
match and what a way to qualify for 
next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
England’s qualification campaign 
culminated with must-win games 
against Montenegro and then Poland 
four days later in October. This came 
against the backdrop of the first of two 
NFL games at the stadium with pressure 
to ensure that the pitch was turned 
around from one sport to another.

We thrive on challenges such as these,” 
says Maslin. “It’s an honour for us to be 
the home away from home for the NFL. 
They bring a fantastic and innovative 
Champions League 
Final: Borussia 
Dortmund vs 
Bayern Munich
25 May 2013
  
  
    
                         
   

www.psam.uk.com
53
FEATURE
WEMBLEY 
STADIUM
level of entertainment to the stadium and 
there’s a huge thirst for the International 
Series, not only in the UK, but Europe too. 
I must also applaud the many fans of 
the respective teams that travelled from 
America. That’s quite an away trip.
But such is the popularity and growth 
of the NFL; it is something that is going 
to become ever more a part of the 
Wembley annual calendar. In fact, hot 
on the heels of two games in 2013, the 
NFL and Wembley Stadium confirmed 
that three games would be played at 
Wembley in 2014. That’s another first 
for both London and the stadium.
22 June 2013
The Killers
90th anniversary  
of Wembley 
Stadium
28 April 2013
29 May 2013
England vs 
Republic of Ireland
Maslin says: “We feel this is a real badge 
of honour for the stadium and a tribute 
to those involved in delivering such 
spectacular events. However, we don’t 
take anything for granted. We know that 
the NFL, just as any other event owner, 
demands the best from us as a stadium. 
We understand this and strive to go that 
bit further to achieve the best possible 
experience for our event owner and 
their fans.
Wow factor
It seems that some people’s experience 
of Wembley has been pretty special in  
  
  
    
                         
   
  
  
    
                         
   
  
  
    
                         
   

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
29 June 2013
Robbie Williams
11 August 2013
Manchester United 
vs Wigan Athletic
2013, with one of the biggest bands in 
the world, The Killers, dedicating a song 
to Wembley Stadium.

That was a really nice moment,” says 
Maslin. “I think wherever you are in 
the business, logistics or ground staff
catering or event management, it’s 
moments like that when you take a step 
back and say: ‘Wow, we work in a pretty 
special place.’

With technology improving year-on-
year, it has meant that concepts for 
stage design have become ever more 
intricate. The diversity we had with 
the light show of The Killers, the giant 
moving heads and pyrotechnics of 
Robbie Williams, all the way through 
to the spectacular construction of The 
Wall at Roger Waters in September. 
The ideas are grander than ever before 
and as a business we really buy into 
this. We not only love the challenges 
that this brings but delight in seeing the 
end product being delivered successfully 
on event night.
Despite its history, Wembley Stadium 
remains committed to technological 
advancement and this year has seen the 
introduction of an LED ribbon around the 
internal circumference of Level 1 in the 
stadium bowl, two giant LED screens 
at each end, an upgrade of screens 
throughout the customer concourses 
and a giant LED fascia on the frontage 
of the stadium, all of which are vital to 
keep the stadium at the cutting edge.

We know only too well the growth of 
multi-purpose venues not only in London 
but the UK and Europe as a whole,” 
54
  
  
    
                         
   
  
  
    
                         
   

www.psam.uk.com
acknowledges Maslin. “At no time can 
you take for granted the events you 
have. It’s not a coincidence that we have 
such quality and diversity of events at 
the stadium but these event owners 
have chosen us as a venue because of 
our commitment to them, our desire to 
share their vision of success and our 
efforts as a team to provide the best 
possible service.
Strength in diversity
That diversity of event has seen 
football, American football, rugby 
union, rugby league all played under the 
133-metre arch.

We love the diversity of events we 
have here, but it’s in our DNA. We’ve had 
the Challenge Cup Final here since 1929 
and it’s a great moment in August, when 
the teams from the North of England 
descend upon us. Rugby Union has 
been played previously but in Saracens 
we have a successful team with an 
innovative brand, who bring some of 
their biggest games to the stadium.

We have great relationships with 
organisations like the Football League 
who bring five events here each year 
and undoubtedly in terms of the Play-
Off fixtures, they are some of the most 
exciting live sport you’re likely to see.
Although sport and music is Wembley’s 
food and drink, there has been a rise in 
alternative events held at the stadium, 
like the International Stadium Poker Tour 
(ISPT) or the Danone Nations’ Cup, a 
youth football tournament, yet Maslin 
thinks these events must form an 
important part of future strategy.  

We have a magnificent building that can 
be utilised for all sorts of entertainment. 
We have events like ISPT, which is 
growing in a market that is known 
throughout the world. They want to 
bring their events to iconic venues and 
where better than Wembley Stadium?
Iconic is a word that can all too easily be 
bandied around, yet Wembley Stadium 
has the events and moments in history 
to back that up, whether it is Geoff 
Hurst’s World Cup-winning hat-trick 
against West Germany, Evel Knievel’s 
failed bid to jump 13 buses or two 
Champions League Finals in three years.
Those European Finals represent career 
highlights for Maslin, who took over as 
Wembley’s Managing Director in 2008.

The Champions League Final is one 
of the biggest sporting events in the 
world,” he explains. “In 2011 it really 
was one of those seminal moments, 
with the two best teams in world 
football at the time serving up such a 
spectacular occasion, with the stadium 
stepping up and being the centrepiece.
“It’s an honour that UEFA acknowledged 
the quality and ability of Wembley 
Stadium and asked us to host the Final 
again in 2013 in The FA’s 150th year.”
This year’s Final did not disappoint with 
the best two teams in Germany, and 
arguably Europe, battling it out and 
adding a fifth trophy to Bayern Munich’s 
list of successes in that competition. It 
was Wembley’s seventh time as host 
of Europe’s premier club competition, 
more than any other stadium. 

Yes, the 2013 Final was arguably 
the best sporting event hosted since 
the stadium re-opened,” says Maslin. 

The fans were incredible for both sides, 
but I think the importance of football to 
fans was highlighted perfectly by the 
Borussia Dortmund fans, who despite 
losing stayed en masse to commiserate 
with their team and show them they 
respected their efforts. A really 
great scene.
And looking forward, new stadiums 
are being designed or rebuilt all 
over the world – with Wembley 
Stadium Consultancy assisting on the 
development of some of these – so 
inevitably there will be competition.

Of course we’re conscious of the 
competition, but it is the competition 
that drives us to produce the best we 
can for our event owners,” Maslin says. 

Wembley Stadium is about inspiring 
memories and delivering for the 


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