Orlando hosts first Coliseum Summit Americas


Orlando hosts first Coliseum Summit Americas

  • 103 delegates from 13 countries attended the two-day conference
  • Conference saw substantive presentations from 32 world class speakers
  • Participants comprise 52% buyers and 57% senior level executives

Coliseum – a top name in international stadium conferences – held its inaugural edition of Coliseum Summit Americas at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando, Florida, US on April 28-29, 2015.

Thirty two world class speakers held sessions at the two-day conference which was attended by over 103 delegates from 13 countries. Of the total participants, 52 per cent were buyers while 57 per cent were senior level executives.

Having established itself as a successful brand in the Middle East, Europe and India since 2011, the Coliseum Summit marked its successful entry in the Americas this year with this event.

The picture gallery for Coliseum Summit Americas is available at https://instagram.com/coliseumsummits/

Conceived and executed by the MJR Group, Coliseum is a unique three-in-one brand comprising a conference, a publication and an online-platform dedicated to design, delivery, operations and legacy of stadia and arenas. The three-in-one branding is tailored to add great value to the venue business internationally.

“After hosting over 10 stadium conferences in Qatar, Turkey, Iraq and India, Coliseum is excited to enter the very sophisticated stadium business market in the Americas,” said Michael Rennschmied, the CEO of MJR Group.

“With the support of strong partners including sports bodies, stadium buyers and owners, and investors, we are very confident to add value to the stadium and venues sector in the Americas,” he added.

The first presentation of the conference saw Allen Johnson, Executive Director, Orlando Venues speaking on Orlando City’s home opener at the renovated Citrus Bowl that featured 62,000 fans. “You can never have too much technology or Wi-FI capacity,” he said.

Dr. Robin Houcken, Managing Partner, Interpol+ Architecture, delivered a fascinating video presentation about Suprastadio. It is the “brainchild” of Interpol+. The presentation drew a hearty ovation from those in attendance. Superstadio is an innovative out-of-the-box grand stand design which was first revealed at the third Coliseum@ASPIRE4SPORT Summit in Doha, Qatar in November 2012.

At a session on proposed stadiums for 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup™, two senior officials from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy offered an overview. While Abdulaziz Al Mawlawi, Senior Design Management Engineer, talked about all the five proposed stadiums, Abdulla Ahmed Al Fehani, Senior Project Engineer offered a presentation on the new Al Rayyan Precinct Stadium.

A subsequent session titled ‘2022 World Cup Qatar: Impacts & Legacies among stakeholders and residents’, saw a fine analysis by Kyriaki Kaplanidou, Associate Professor, University of Florida. “We’re trying to benchmark what we’re seeing in Qatar… We’re trying to understand how the 2022 World Cup transforms the country of Qatar. Design needs to take into account the opinions of the locals,” said Kaplanidou. Citing her study, Kaplanidou said: “’Change’ was one of the most pertinent words that came up in interviewing Qatar residents. They’re hoping the World Cup event at these stadiums helps create ‘change’ within the country.”

Joseph Bocko, President & CEO, Collosseo USA Inc talked about the challenges of using smartphomes at the games. “There’s no way to stop young people from using smartphones at the games… We challenge ourselves to deliver great options to deliver value and new revenue,” he said, offering a solution: “The future is to serve all these media from a common platform. Integration of all venue media is truly seamless.”

Karl Severance, Business Development Manager, Ephesus Lighting, presented a case study on LED in sports lighting at the 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona. “LED in sports lighting has only been around since 2012. Everybody is new in this business,” he said.

Michael R. Carlson, President, Carlson Studio Architecture and Chris DeVolder, Senior Associate, HOK conducted an animated Q&A session on using LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, for existing building system.
Timothy B. Kellison, Assistant Professor, Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management, University of Florida spoke on the challenges with the Atlanta Braves new stadium. Discussing his study on ‘Dealing with the mistrust of government officials’, Kellison highlighted the lack of transparency and democratic incongruence and their impact on a sporting project.

Chris Lamberth, Head of global sport development at HOK, made a presentation on the new Miami Dolphins stadium. “At the new Miami Dolphins stadium, they’ve done away with the baseball touches. It’s ‘football, football, football now’. It’s key to getting sponsorships… Top tier sponsors help to finance the project internally. The idea is to create a temperate environment that is more hospitable to the fans (keep the sun off them). The field level is a whole different sensation,” said Lamberth.

David Campbell, President, Geiger Engineers, offered a case study on Canada’s first domed stadium, Vancouver’s 60,000-seat BC Place, which opened in 1983. “Very significant technical engineering challenges can be overcome with careful attention and rigorous design effort, including physical mock-ups, however, the project schedule must accommodate,” he said.

Jim Renne, Sports Principal, Rossetti, spoke on the new strategic vision of the US Open in New York.” Rossetti developed a 10-year Vision Plan to transform the even from ‘tennis in the park’ into a sports spectacle on par with the Olympics,” he said. “The vision is constantly evolving, with each chance or addition creating a new shift. They look for and take advantage of new and unexpected opportunities as they arise,” he added.

Lamberth, Renne, Campbell along with Daniel Hopf Fernandes, President Fernandes Arquitetos, Brazil also participated in a free-flowing panel discussion on ‘Legacy’.

“Legacy – it can be a scary word,” said Fernandes. “Someone asked us – why did Brazil decide to host the World Cup or Olympics, like we were crazy. [And I tell them] Everybody was hoping for a change. They were hoping the World Cup would mean something radical.”

Lamberth said: “Planning for a sustainable legacy… When we go to Qatar, it will be amazingly compact. I think there’s huge potential in Doha. I’d like to hear more about how Russia handles 2018. Legacy is community planning. Using existing infrastructure and stadiums.”

Renne said: “We need to expand the concept of legacy beyond venues. Can venues be designed or transformed to become something new, like a school or something? We’re trying to figure out, how we can embed the venue into everyday life so that it’s a community… You can put these places in and they can become black holes, and wasted resources.”

Campbell: “As an engineer, our role is much different. Legacy to us means, how long does the structure last?. It has to meet the same standards for safety if it were permanent. The biggest issue for us is; will it remain there? Or is it something you’d like to break into 10 useful pieces where you’ll be able to use it somewhere else. You could turn a large stadium into a dozen small venues over the course of a host country. But it would have to be designed that way.”

Adrienne Six, Director of Destination Meeting Services, Visit Orlando offered an insight on how her firm was able to reach an agreement to be the presenting sponsor of the Minor League Hockey All-Star Game at the Amway Center earlier this year. It provided millions of impressions as the game was broadcast internationally on Fox Sports.

Adrienne says Visit Orlando is constantly analyzing what is important to the record 62-million Orlando visitors every year.

This was followed by a presentation of the Daytona Rising Project. Jim Renne of Rossetti; Doug Bolas, Vice President of Design, ISC Design & Development; and Dave Price, Vice President, Barton Malow Company discussed the $400 renovation project at Daytona International Speedway.

Bolas said it was about “preserving the tradition,” meanwhile enhancing the experience for the fans. “It’s about investing in the future of fan experience,” he said. Price discussed the challenges of the construction process while major events like the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 take place. “You must keep all the fans safe, and we have, which is a very difficult challenge,” he said.

The project is slated to be done in early 2016. Renne said that much like the US Open, it’s about taking into account the “spectacle” at Daytona… Re-imagining and re-inventing what could be at Daytona International Speedway.

Keith M Hart, Chief Operating Officer, World OutGames Miami 2017 laid out his plans for the event. Miami Beach will play host to the inaugural games. Studies have shown it could have a $100 million plus impact (Hart said $150-170 million is the more accurate estimate) on Miami. Transportation could be a challenge for the thousands of competitors and spectators as Miami Beach can easily get crowded, but they’re planning early in advance for the challenge.



Coliseum is a conference, a publication and an online-platform dedicated to design, delivery, operations and legacy of stadia and arenas.

The three-in-one branding is tailored to add great value to the venue business internationally. Coliseum conferences are held in four key regions in the world, namely: Europe, the Americas, China and the Middle East.

These summits have transformed into a forum that offers interconnectivity to all the regions of the world. In the process, it has successfully created unique platforms from where knowledge is shared between local, regional and international experts who design, construct, operate and manage venues.

We are passionate and dedicated to the various challenges, solutions and lessons learnt vis-à-vis the stadium and arena business. A key component of our events is the presence of all the major stakeholders from the industry – an important attraction for our sponsors and delegates!


About MJR

MJR is a niche consultancy agency focused on sports venues, Host Cities, Performing Art Centers and Facilities Management (FM) business. Operating from its offices in London and Dubai, MJR strives to create knowledge-sharing platforms and provides services to the venue, host cities and FM industry.

The group owns three distinctive brands: Coliseum, FMQ and Host Cities. MJR serves these industries with various conferences, publications and online platforms. Notable among MJR’s publications are Coliseum and FMQ, catering to the sports venue and FM sectors respectively.

MJR also undertakes marketing services (USP analysis, corporate guidelines, brochures, websites etc.) for existing clients and conducts research and intelligence gathering for the sports venue industry.

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