Know your fans and your venue will make more revenue: Experts conclude at the 5th Coliseum Summit MENA



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Coliseum Summit MENA Post show report 2015

The 5th Coliseum Summit MENA at Al Ain’s award-winning Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium witnessed an overwhelming response with over 135 delegates from 19 countries in attendance. The two-day conference on November 4-5 brought together 35 top expert speakers from the stadium and venue business with a particular focus on the performance of the sector in the GCC.

“With UAE hosting the 2019 Asian Cup and new stadiums being planned in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it was imperative to have a discussion on the stadium business in UAE and the larger GCC region. As it is, there are currently 18 new stadium projects going on in GCC (without the Saudi stadiums; they are on hold). This was essentially the focus of this year’s Coliseum Summit,” said Coliseum Founder and MJR CEO Michael Rennschmied.

Coliseum Summit, hosted by the MJR Group, has been the leading international stadium conference in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the past five years. It is for the first time that the summit was hosted in the premise of a stadium this year. The participants of Coliseum Summit were also taken on a special tour of the Hazza Bin Zayed stadium.

Representatives from over 20 sporting clubs and venues attended the conference. Participants included top stakeholders from regional sports bodies and international firms such as Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Sports City, Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy, HOK, Hamdan Sports Complex, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, Dubai Duty Free, Deloitte, CH2M, Repucom, IPIC Arena.

The summit also offered a unique platform for the experts from the stadium design and building industry and venues operations professionals in the GCC region to come under a single roof to discuss the future of the sector. In order to get a fresh perspective, this year the experts from the family and entertainment venue industry shared their own lessons learnt with the stadium sector.

The sessions witnessed brainstorming on the stadiums in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with an eye on the Asian Cup. “Dubai will have new stadiums, but it is still not clear if in Sports City, a stand-alone venue beside Hamdan Sports Complex or if the two approved upgrades of Al Wasl & Al Shabab Stadium are enough. In Abu Dhabi, new permanent venues are being planned at the Yas Island,” Rennschmied said offering an insight into the ongoings of the event.

One of the key questions that was raised at the summit was ‘Why stadiums and arenas in the GCC are not profitable?’. At the end of the summit, the experts arrived at the conclusion that “stadiums should be built according to the wishes of the fan and not the client,” Rennschmied said.

“Enhance fan experience within the venues with adding hotel, retail opportunities etc. Know your fans and your venue will make more revenue,” he concluded.

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