The UK and Ireland’s joint Euro 2028 bid made headlines recently, with ten stadiums picked to host the tournament across the two countries.
Glaring omissions were Old Trafford and The Emirates Stadium in favour of all-new stadiums like the ‘Everton Stadium’ in Liverpool and Casement Park in Belfast.
These future projects raise fresh questions about the impact a sports venue can have on its local area. Legacy benefits can certainly include area regeneration, tourist income and long-term economic investment.
Everton Football Club’s new Bramley-Moore site, for instance, is estimated to bring a £1.3 billion boost to the city, creating more than 15,000 jobs.
We share some examples of sporting theatres and the effects they’re having on their local areas.
The London Stadium
The London Stadium was initially a purpose-built athletic for London 2012, which sits at the heart of the City’s Olympic Village in Queen Elizabeth Park. During the games, the stadium housed 80,000 spectators, with its sunken elliptic bowl architecture an impressive example of structural design software.
The stadium was not merely about creating a one-off piece of sporting history but a lasting legacy for the host city. The area was a previously underdeveloped part of London’s East End, which has since seen investment, including the $1.45 billion Westfield City Shopping Centre attracting over 50 million visitors in 12 months of trading.
In addition, the development has also improved sporting and transport infrastructure, with a 226-hectare park attracting six million visitors per year.
Post-games, West Ham United have become the stadium’s new tenants, fighting off bids from other football clubs, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient. The stadium boasts a 62,500 capacity each game week and remains a hub for football, concerts and athletics.
Barcelona Olympic Village
Whereas many former sporting stadiums become urban ‘white elephants’, Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic complex is often cited as a model for regeneration. Its success also raised the profile of the city.
All 15 purpose-built venues remain in use today, with Barcelona set to play at the Olympic Stadium during their 2023/24 campaign while construction work takes place at Camp Nou.
In addition to the sporting benefits, the project comprehensively transformed the City’s neighbourhoods, bringing new housing and infrastructure to poorer areas. The post-industrial dockside also became a modern waterfront for sport, leisure and tourism.
The regeneration programme is thought to have driven more tourism into the city. Prior to the Olympics, there were 1.7 million tourists per year, which has since reached 12 million in 2019.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
One of the most impressive stadiums to arrive in recent years, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has grabbed headlines for everything from its heated seats to microbrewery pouring 10,000 pints a minute.
The stadium has had a ‘supercharging’ effect on the local economy too. In the fifth most deprived ward in the UK, the stadium has provided a £166 million boost in local spending each year.
The venue also taps into emerging marketplaces, bringing flagship NFL American football games to the city with its retractable pitch and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
In terms of community outreach, as part of the construction process, Spurs created the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham as a fully operational, state-funded Sixth Form. Since its inception, over 50% of pupils have gained places at top universities after studying at the Sixth Form College of the Year.