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partners we work with, the facilities 
we possess and our desire to produce 
the best results for every match, event 
or concert. Hopefully this will ensure 
that fans young and old will keep 
enjoying these occasions and treasuring 
memories of Wembley forever, because 
that’s who we’re here for.” n
55
FEATURE
WEMBLEY 
STADIUM
20 Sept 2013
Pittsburgh Steelers 
vs Minnesota 
Vikings
  
  
    
                         
   

56
Bethe Ferguson at Gold Medal Products Co. 
reveals the flavours that will tantalise the 
taste buds of concession customers into 2014.
Flavour 
knows
 
no 
bounds
T
he world is a melting pot. Not only 
are some of the new, trendy spices 
piquing interest in gourmet restaurants, 
but consumers’ everyday meals are 
increasingly influenced by a variety 
of cuisines. The food trackers and 
tastemakers all agree that previously 
region-specific flavours are the way 
of the foreseeable food future around 
the globe. Stadiums and arenas looking 
to build on their existing menus should 
consider weaving in these sweet, 
savoury, and hot notes to capture more 
attention and market share.
PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
Bring the Heat
Sriracha is a Thai hot sauce that was 
traditionally used as a dipping sauce, 
and accompanied dishes at local 
seafood restaurants. Now this sauce 
has become one of the go-to ways to 
pack a punch. It’s infused in popcorn 
toppings, drizzled on sandwiches, 
mixed with ketchup, and spices 
up soups.
Forget the Salt  
and Pepper
Try Shichimi Togarashi (a Japanese 
seven-spice of Sesame Seeds, Ginger, 
Nori, and hot peppers). Baum + 
Whiteman, international food and 
restaurant consultants, say it’s being 
sprinkled on chicken wings, salads, 
and grilled fish.
Focus on Fresh Fruits
Gold Medal’s food scientist states 
fruits from India and multiple Asian 
countries are especially prevalent. 
For example, the Mango’s origins 
are South Asia, and it has quickly 
become one of the world’s most 
popular fruits. Other top choices 
are Monk Fruit as a naturally sweet, 
but low-calorie alternative. Papedas, 
and hybrids like Kaffir Lime, are 
recognised for their refreshing citrus 
splashes.
Offer Mexican and  
Latin-Inspired Creations
According to Bell, Mexican food 
consumption rates are continuing 
to increase, and more consumers 
are preparing it in their home. 
Baum + Whiteman predict Mexican 
sandwiches (Tortas and Cemitas) 
will be among the 2014 buzzwords. 
Complex Latin American flavours are 
also attracting worldwide attention, 
as consumers are gobbling up spices 
like Sofrito (a sauce of tomatoes
roasted bell peppers, garlic, onions 
and herbs). The sweet, silky, caramel 
of Dulce de Leche is a familiar 
favourite within ice creams, candy, 
and dessert sauces.
The new, world 
cookbook
The following six points are just a few 
of the trends Gold Medal’s certified food 
scientist, Baum + Whiteman, McCormick, 
and Bell Flavors & Fragrances are 
seeing around the globe.

www.psam.uk.com
57
showcase
food & 
beverage
How to incorporate 
into concessions
The public is becoming more aware of 
the world’s available flavours and wants 
to see them infused into everyday foods 
that are easily accessible. Sensational 
seasonings are popping up everywhere 
from restaurants and grocery stores 
to widely distributed packaged items, 
and they even are attracting attention in 
retail store eateries.
Companies are responding to the 
demand, offering stadiums unique, 
Warm Up with Smokes
Gold Medal’s food scientist also 
relates the return of the hearth-
driven tastes. Open fire and wood-
smoked classics have been popular 
for generations from fresh-baked 
Italian pizzas to subtle additions of 
Saffron’s delicate, smoky flavouring 
in Italian risotto, Persian and Indian 
dishes, French bouillabaisse, and even 
Swedish Christmas breads.
‘Global My Way’
McCormick’s 2013 Flavor Forecast highlights the 
trend of formerly ‘ethnic’ ingredients going beyond 
their traditional uses and being routinely incorporated 
into daily menus. For example, it showcases Japanese 
Katsu Sauce & Oregano – tangy flavours of barbeque 
and steak sauce – as the next ‘it’ condiment. 
The report also notes Anise & Cajeta (Mexican 
caramel sauce) as a sweet, rich way to bring both 
desserts and savoury dishes to new heights.
serve sweetener form for smoothies, 
cookies, jellies, and beyond.
Like the examples above, there are 
surprisingly easy ways to appeal to the 
crowds without breaking the budget. 
Suppliers are tracking trends and can 
offer suggestions on how to incorporate 
new and old favourites. A successful 
recipe for concession stands will 
always be about continuing to tempt 
customers’ taste buds with fresh, 
inventive alternatives that pair well with 
proven money-makers like popcorn, 
nachos, hot dogs, and cotton candy. n
but simple, ways to tailor classic 
concessions. 
For example, Gold Medal will be 
debuting new lines of sweet and 
savoury popcorn coatings like Mango 
and Chili Lime, and has popular Tropical 
Fruit Cotton Candy in pre-packaged 
bags. Goya offers multiple spices – like 
Adobo or Sazón Natural & Complete 
with decreased salt – that can be 
dashed on items like French fries and 
hamburgers, or baked right into pizzas. 
Australian company Norbu – The Sweet 
Monk – offers Monk Fruit in an easy-to-

58
Nils Hansen from Philips discusses the new scenario for using 
all kinds of light in sport and entertainment venues.
How have lighting control systems 
changed since Philips first started 
working on sports venue projects?
Since Philips started providing dedicated 
lighting solutions for sports lighting 
for the 1953 Olympics in Oslo the 
technology has, especially in the past 
10 years, frog leaped from static, 
inefficient lighting to fully flexible, 
controllable, energy-efficient lighting 
systems and solutions. These solutions 
enable our customers to not only save 
on operational costs, but also add 
safety to their venue and generate new 
revenue streams by becoming truly 
multipurpose. Venue operators can take 
full control of their lighting installation, 
not only on the pitch, but also in the 
hospitality areas, retail shops, façade 
lighting and also infrastructural lighting 
of their venue.
How much of your developments 
are driven by the changing demands 
of large-scale and diverse stadiums 
and arenas?
Modern venues face several challenges 
from different sides. On the one hand 
there is always the quest for operational 
cost reductions and improvement of 
venue operations. On the other hand 
there are high requirements from 
broadcasters on lighting quality to 
support the newest TV standards and 
effects, like, for example, ultra-high 
definition (4K standard) or super slow 
motion. Our innovations are always 
driven by the needs of our customers 
and also in long-term projects our 
innovative power is the insurance for our 
customers to have the latest innovations 
in place in their venue. For example, we 
installed in the velodrome in London 
for the Olympics 2012 our first flicker-
free solution for our conventional 
ArenaVision HID luminaires as the 
requirements set for broadcasting 
were becoming very important for 
those Olympic Games. This is one 
innovation that we will also bring to the 
market in 2014 and was already a great 
experience during the Olympics. Actually 
broadcasters stated that our solution 
“looks like a million dollars!”
How much of a factor are issues 
such as energy consumption and 
sustainability?
Sustainability and energy efficiency 
have been the drivers in the previous 
innovations like our ArenaVision 1kW & 
2kW luminaires, which set the standard 
in efficient high-quality pitch lighting. 
And also the switch to LED is fired with 
the drive for creating more efficient 
and sustainable lighting. But LED offers 
much more! Due to the digitalisation of 
lighting, finally venue owners get full 
control and complete flexibility over 
their lighting.
Can you give us some examples of 
notable sports projects that you were 
involved with?
Philips has been involved in high-
end sports lighting since we started 
with supplying lighting for the 1953 
Olympics in Oslo. And since then there 
has never been a major sports event 
like World Cup, Olympics or European 
Championships that we haven’t been 
involved in. More than 70% of the 
Premier League stadiums are equipped 
with Philips lighting, more than 55% of 
all major football stadiums around the 
globe as well. But also ski slopes, horse 
race tracks and the F1 Grand Prix in 
Singapore are examples of our expertise 
in sports lighting.
Can you give us an example of a 
particularly challenging project?
Every project has its challenges and 
can only be a success when listening 
closely to our customers’ needs and 
requirements. As an example, the 
challenge at the Grand Prix of Singapore 
was clearly the balance between high 
TV broadcasting requirements and the 
necessary illuminance and uniformity 
while at the same time ensuring safety 
by achieving near-daylight lighting 
without glare for the drivers. By joining 
up with Valerio Maioli, we designed and 
developed a dedicated solution for this 
race track. We were able to deliver a 
INFINITY OF LIGHT
PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
Nils Hansen, Philips
External façade lighting at Sup
er Bowl XLIII.

www.psam.uk.com
59
SHOWCASE
LIGHTING
unique lighting system to make the first 
night race ever in Formula 1 possible.
What are the benefits to a sports 
venue in adopting LED lighting?
The question is not if but when we will 
see LED lighting being used in all areas 
of a stadium or arena, including the pitch 
lighting. The benefits are numerous. 
To start with: energy efficiency and 
maintenance cost reduction, especially 
in general lighting, hospitality and retail 
lighting and infrastructural lighting; 
there are savings possible of more than 
70% if the lighting solution includes 
controls and intelligent lighting systems. 
But also on the pitch lighting there are 
significant cost savings possible on 
energy and maintenance. Secondly: 
LED technology is enabling the use of 
intelligent lighting systems, that are 
fully controllable and offer complete 
flexibility to venue management, There 
will be no more black-outs like during 
this year’s Super Bowl as LED lighting 
systems are instantly switched on and 
off, can be dimmed and can also create 
entertaining lighting effects. LED lighting 
systems can be configured to react on 
the environment; for example, by using 
intelligent sensors they can improve the 
safety in the venue by supporting the 
crowd control in case of emergencies 
and additionally can generate new 
revenue streams by increasing the 
attractiveness for the audience, but 
also the attractiveness of the venue 
for other events, making it a truly 
multipurpose venue.
Does the price of adopting this 
technology make it affordable for 
venues to use?
Innovations for the sake of being 
innovative never pay off! Our 
innovations are always driven by a 
deep understanding of our customers’ 
needs and the environment in which our 
lighting systems and solutions should 
play a role. There always has to be a 
measureable value for our customers 
in our solutions and this also counts 
for the upcoming LED innovations 
for pitch lighting we will bring to the 
market in early 2014. Already from the 
technical specification our LED solution 
is not only replacing a conventional 
luminaire, but also the electronic ballast 
(needed to offer flicker-free lighting 
with conventional luminaires) and a hot 
restrike and a shutter (needed to get 
near to instant on/off for conventional 
luminaires). In addition to that and 
depending on the needs, requirements 
and strategic and operational objectives 
of the venue, we can configure the right 
solution that will generate a ROI over 
a certain time period, either by energy 
savings, maintenance cost reduction, 
additional safety, new revenue streams, 
improved operational efficiency or a 
combination of these factors. 
With LED technology we now also move 
to a new era in pitch lighting. Finally 
we are able to merge entertainment 
lighting effects and highest quality pitch 
lighting into one solution, offering much 
more than TV compliant lighting with 
high colour-rendering, great illuminance 
and uniformity. Now you can dim your 
lighting with the touch on a control 
panel to any light level you like, use 
your pitch lighting for show effects, 
support the crowd control by using 
light as guidance, create an event for 
your visitors and make your venue even 
more attractive for other purposes, like 
concerts, multipurpose sport events 
and so on. This is a completely new 
world we are entering and surely we 
also will have to communicate these 
new opportunities and potential values 
to our customers and all stakeholders 
in the value chain. So far the feedback 
from our guests that were able to 
already take a look in the kitchen is 
overwhelming and very promising and 
we are sure, that we can achieve this 
next level in high-end sports lighting 
together with our customers.
The exterior lighting of sports venues 
is becoming increasingly prevalent. 
Is this a relevant area which Philips 
Lighting is also involved in?
One of the biggest advantages of being 
the leader in the lighting industry is the 
fact that we are familiar with all kinds 
of applications, from private homes to 
retail and hospitality, offices, industry, 
healthcare lighting, outdoor lighting and 
also architectural lighting. Just to give 
some examples of iconic landmarks   
ArenaVision LED lighting system.

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
we have illuminated: The London Eye, 
The Singapore Flyer, Eiffel Tower in 
Paris, Reichstag in Berlin, Empire State 
Building in New York and the list can 
be continued. And sports venues like 
Poznan stadium for the EURO2012 or 
the final of the Super Bowl XLIII are 
examples of how exterior lighting can 
create iconic landmarks. Our customers 
profit from this broad expertise because 
in sports and event venues lighting is 
needed in all kind of applications such 
as retail, hospitality, architecture and so 
on. We can offer a customer-centric and 
complete solution for all these areas.
Are you working on any future 
innovations in sports lighting which 
you can tell our readers about?
I almost disclosed it in the previous 
answers to your questions. We are 
working on a LED solution for pitch 
lighting, that we already showcase 
in a test installation at the moment 
and that we will bring to the market 
in early 2014. Also the integration of 
the complete lighting in a venue into 
either existing or our own monitor and 
control system is a key project we are 
working on, to enable a fully aligned 
and synchronised use of the lighting 
in a venue. You can always expect key 
innovations for future sports venue 
projects, that will have the latest 
technology inside, when you go with us 
as a partner in your project.
Are you actively working on any 
notable sports projects?
You surely understand that I do not want 
to be too specific on this question, but 
yes, actually there are several projects 
that we are working on. The most 
notable ones are in Brazil and Russia, 
where we are currently supplying our 
lighting solutions for all kinds of indoor 
and outdoor areas to most of the 
Word Cup 2014 stadiums in Brazil and 
to most of the main sport facilities of 
Sochi 2014. In general we are involved in 
Donbass Arena, Ukraine.
most of these major sport projects as a 
partner for lighting and beyond and will 
continue to bring our latest innovations 
to these major projects and venues.
Which regions do you see as offering 
the best growth potential for your 
sports work?
North America, Latin America, Middle 
East, Russia, Asia, but also in Europe, 
anywhere where major sport events 
take place is a growth region from our 
point of view. For sure are we involved 
in all tenders for major projects like 
Olympics, World Cups, European 
Championships and renovations or new 
projects in major sport leagues around 
the globe. The importance of lighting 
is growing and the benefits of the 
newest LED technology and intelligent 
lighting systems are now in reach for 
all application areas within a major 
venue, including the pitch lighting; so 
we look towards an exciting future for 
sports lighting. n
showcase
  LIGHTING
60

2013-03618_ArenaExperience_AD_SportsPro_210x297.indd   1
05-12-13   11:36

62
ESSMA at work
Tamás Szekeres, Budapest FTC stadium, thinks ESSMA is a great approach to 
keeping abreast of the stadium business. Here he explains why. PLUS: a report 
from ESSMA’s recent Head Groundsmen event in Portugal.
ESSMA interview: TamAs Szekeres, Budapest FTC stadium
Can you tell us something about  
your background?
Before I started as Development 
Manager at Budapest FTC, I worked 
for the Hungarian Football Federation 
for three years, where I was appointed 
as Technical Director. I started there 
immediately after I ended my 17-year 
professional football career. Now 
I’m in charge of all different kinds of 
developments at the most popular 
Hungarian club FTC, for example for the 
youth centre and the new stadium.
How did you end up at Budapest  
FTC stadium?
Ferencvaros is my mother club. I played 
15 years for the club, so I have a lot 
of friends and connections there. The 
club and the club’s President started 
lobbying on a political level for a 
new stadium back in 2011. As you 
might suppose, a lot of resources are 
needed. The final decision (made at 
the end of 2011) is that the state will 
finance the project completely. The 
stadium will become the home ground 
of Ferencvaros.
I travelled through Europe for two years 
to gain a lot of information, visit new 
stadiums, attend conferences and meet 
stadium operators. I think ESSMA as 
an organisation is a great approach. As 
a newcomer in the stadium industry I 
learned a lot at ESSMA conferences, got 
information about the newest trends 
in stadium operation and could build up 
a diversified network. In combination 
with my background and experience as 
a football player and member of the 
national team, I am now able to make 
good analyses of what innovations and 
approaches are really necessary. I also 
exactly know what the club’s needs are.
What’s the current status of  
the project?
The concept and business plan are about 
95% ready. We were fully aware of the 
operational concept during the design 
process and our aim was to create 
a sustainable and efficient stadium. 
I work closely together with a project 
management company that is appointed 
by the state to supervise design and 
construction and to facilitate the 
building permit.
How urgent was it to start with  
the plans?
You see, the old stadium was built in 
1974. In recent years it wasn’t really 
maintained well by the state. The 
stadium conditions were unworthy 
for such a big and traditional club like 
Ferencvaros, so there really was a high 
need for a new stadium. Ferencvaros 
rented the old stadium like a ‘user 
only’, but this time the club intends to 
become more like a good trustee instead 
of just a tenant of the new stadium. 
Ferencvaros will pay a yearly fee to the 
state for the use of the stadium.
How did you convince the state?
It’s obvious that the stadium 
infrastructure is generally very poor 
in Hungary and good facilities are very 
much needed. The club’s financial 
background is a long way from being able 
to finance huge infrastructure projects 
like building a new stadium. The present 
government is committed to investing 
in sports infrastructure, especially in 
football stadiums. Ferencvaros is the 
biggest, most popular and successful 
PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14

63
showcase
MANAGEMENT
club and has the most fans, which made 
the choice easier. Ferencvaros is the ‘club 
of the people’ and gets a lot of support 
from the whole country and also from 
neighbouring countries with a Hungarian 
population. A recent survey shows that 
Ferencvaros has 1.04 million supporters 
in Hungary alone.
How many visitors do you expect 
during the season?
The capacity of the new stadium will 
be 22,500 seats (of which 6,000 are 
dismountable). For home matches the 
capacity will rise to nearly 24,000 
(with the addition of standing fans). We 
are convinced we will have a full house 
at top matches. A new facility boosts 
the number of fans; we’ve seen that 
example from other clubs in Europe – 
KAA Gent in Belgium or Juventus in Italy.
We expect the average attendance will 
be about 12,000 to 14,000. We aim for 
a full house five to six times a year. 
In 2017-2018 a new national stadium 
will be built and till then we will also 
host about three matches a year of the 
national team.
What about the construction of  
the stadium?
The construction works started in mid-
March 2013 and the old stadium got 
demolished at the same time. The new 
stadium was originally planned to open 
in September 2014, but because of a 
fast building process, we will be able to 
deliver the stadium by the end of July. 
75% of the old stadium will be recycled. 
Ground-up concrete will be re-used, 
seats are donated to amateur clubs and 
light pillars get a second life. 
The front part of the existing plot of 
the old stadium area will be sold in 
order to reduce the costs of the new 
stadium (45 million Euro net). All of this 
will make it a ‘cheap’ stadium in reality 
(approximately 30 million Euro net). 
Also 1000m

of office space is integrated 
into the stadium. The stadium will host 
various events – about 100 to 130 a year, 
mainly not on the pitch. After the season, 
concerts will be allowed between the end 
and the beginning of the new season.
How do you try to satisfy the fans?
The expectations are extremely high. 
Most important for us was to create a 
secure venue. A lot of cameras (inside 
and outside the stadium) will be present. 
We want to make sure we meet with the 
Hungarian FA’s very strict requirements. 
We’re convinced that when people feel 
safe, more families will attend the 
matches. That’s why we make sure that 
our ultras (most enthusiastic fans) are 
behind the goal and separated from 
other visitors.
Next to security measures, we paid a lot 
of attention to hospitality: a VIP zone for 
3,000 guests (including 32 skyboxes), 
1300 business seats, underneath 
parking space for 450 cars for VIPs, a 
museum, an event hall for 1300 guests 
and a restaurant. The former restaurant 
was a big success and that’s why we 
expect the new restaurant to be very 
popular again (also on non-matchdays). 
The stadium has to become more than 
the home ground of a football club. It 
has to be a meeting point every day.
For sustainability, we are implementing 
the re-use of rainwater, solar panels 
and optimisation of energy (only the VIP 
space is heated). Concessions will not be 
heated permanently to save energy.
What can you tell us about 
innovations in the stadium?
We will deploy a stadium wi-fi network 
to fulfil the high-tech needs of the fans. 
200 LED screens and six huge LED 
walls will be present to enhance fan 
experience. Innovation and technology 
is a must in a new stadium, no doubt 
about that. We are also developing 
a smartphone application and a 
membership card. All functions, like 
cashless payment, will be integrated in 
that card.We aim to facilitate payments 
at the concession area for fans and 
visitors. Security staff will make use of 
innovation too; we will provide tablets 
that make it easier for them to monitor 
the fans.
www.psam.uk.com

PANSTADIA & ARENA MANAGEMENT WINTER 2013/14
ESSMA Head Grounds Managers Seminar 2013, Porto, Portugal
ESSMA aims to raise the profile of pitch management and improve communication with stadium managers and other 
stakeholders. It’s a strong platform across Europe for the stadium industry. Part of ESSMA’s strategy is to bring Head Grounds 
Managers together and FC Porto and the magnificent Estadio do Dragao hosted the latest event. ESSMA wishes to thank 
Ricardo Carvalho, Patricia Rocha and the whole team at FC Porto.
Having 45 participants from over 13 countries really made this seminar a successful event, certainly in combination with the 
networking possibilities and the stadium and training facility visit. This event was made possible by the support of the stadium 
pitch partners SGL, EVERRIS, CampeyImants, DESSO GrassMaster and TERRAPLAS.

   
Dare to share knowledge. You need 
to get together for the education 
of grass specialists and field 
managers. 

Xavi Tordera, SGL

 
  In order to optimise stadium 
revenue, a non-sporting event 
becomes a vital revenue stream 
for a stadium. 

Pierre Debleme, TERRAPLAS

   
Let’s keep plastic out of our 
venues and focus on high quality 
pitches with solutions. 

Simon Gumbrill, CampeyImants

 
  
You always find that turf is a 
universal language. Come out 
of the shadows, embrace your 
expertise and show it to the world


Ellie Parry, EVERRIS

  
Technology and skilled people go 
hand in hand in order to have state 
of the art pitches. 

Yves De Cocker, DESSO GrassMaster

 
 
 Let’s meet new people and 
exchange knowledge. Let’s benefit 
from all our practical experience


Maxim Kobzin, Head Grounds 
Manager Donbass Arena, Ukraine

  
Head Grounds Managers need to be 


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