Coliseum MENA meet focus Kingdom sport strides


Coliseum Summit MENA 2024 PR visual Image: Coliseum GSVA

Coliseum, the only global sports venues’ business summit, is back with the 12th edition of the Coliseum Summit MENA to be held for the first time in Saudi Arabia at the 25,000-capacity Al-Awwal Park in Riyadh on February 5th, 2024. ‘Coliseum’ is teaming up with the prominent industry leader SMC to host the one-day conference.

The summit program has been released, please click on this link.

There are two firsts to this conference – it is ‘Coliseum’s’ maiden meet in Saudi Arabia and for the first time two workshops will be held on February 4th, 2024 with the purpose of transferring knowledge and benefit the country’s ambitions in terms of building new sporting facilities. The topics are – ‘Commercialization of Sporting Facilities’ and ‘Sustainable Seating’.


Saudi Arabia has made commendable strides in promoting sports activities in recent years and has touched dizzying heights in this regard. Since 2021, Saudi Arabia has invested more than $6.3 billion in sports, including football, Formula 1, golf, winter sport, and tennis. The Kingdom has taken up an ambitious plan to upgrade the five existing football stadia and build new ones. The country has also taken up major plans to promote esports and in this regard the Qiddiya City Egames Arena is coming up in the heart of the Qiddiya Gaming and Esports District, which is the world’s first mixed-use gaming and esports district.

Venue virtuosos – the best-of-the-breed of the sports venue industry – will enlighten the distinguished delegates with their extensive knowledge of the venue industry the core being the challenges faced while taking up stadia projects and the lessons learned thereof. Their knowledge-sharing in the one-day conference will also benefit the venue operators/owners of the Kingdom which is witnessing sporting facilities’ boon.

Speakers like Barry Bremner, Executive Director Sports Strategy, Qiddiya Investment Company, KSA, will talk at length about Saudi Arabia’s flagship project – Qiddiya – the cultural, sports and entertainment destination of the Kingdom. Turki bin Oudah, GM, Sport Sector Development, Royal Commission for Riyadh City, KSA, will share his insights on the ambitious sports policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia leading to the Middle East country landing some of the biggest sporting extravaganzas like the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, 2034 Asian Games and the 2034 FIFA World Cup™. Continuing in the same vein, Francesco Aurelio Bongiorno, Stadium Design Project Manager, Mace, KSA, will provide an overview as to how Saudi Arabia is set to build three new stadia and go in for total overhaul of four others ahead of the 2027 AFC Asian Cup while Helmut Spahn, Director Safety, Security and Access, FIFA, Switzerland, will reflect on the “compact nature” of Qatar 2022 while also sharing his views on the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ to be hosted by Canada, United States and Mexico. Felicien Dillard, Partner, Portas Consulting, UAE, will share his thoughts on the football infrastructure landscape in Saudi Arabia with a focus on stadium infrastructure. Overall, the crème de la crème of the venue industry promises to enrich the august gathering with their rich knowledge of the venue sector.

So, get ready for a one-day thought shower which will witness a lot of brainstorming and the delegates will surely go home an enriched lot.

Keep watching this space for more information on the upcoming summit!


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