Twickenham Stadium tongue-tickling experience



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Nils Braude on Coliseum Europe Image: Nils Braude & MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Nils Braude is the Managing Director of Twickenham Experience, the conferencing and hospitality business set within Twickenham Stadium, the Home of England Rugby (UK) and one of the most iconic and historic stadia on the planet.

Braude joined Twickenham in 2017, after running some of the biggest and most successful stadiums in the country and retail operations within some of United Kingdom’s key airports. Sport has always been his passion though, and his career has seen him work across stadia. He has been instrumental in Twickenham increasing its hospitality business both on matchday and non-matchday and launching the stadium’s impressive East Stand in 2018.
 

Twickenham Stadium

The 82,000-capacity Twickenham Stadium in Twickenham, South-West London, England (UK), is a rugby union stadium owned by the Rugby Football Union, English rugby union governing body, which has its headquarters there. The England national rugby union team play their home matches at the stadium.

Twickenham Stadium is the home of England Rugby and the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world, seating up to 82,000 people.
 

Destination unto itself

The stadium is a destination for fans around the world to experience the action on the pitch on a matchday, dance to some of the biggest stars in music, relive the history of a stadium tour, visit the newly housed World Rugby Museum, host a fantastic event or take a trip to the Rugby Store. The stadium’s food experience is indeed something to write home about.

In an exclusive and insightful conversation with ‘Coliseum’, Nils Braude, MD, Twickenham Experience, UK, provides details of the experiences that fans relish when they come visiting the Twickenham Stadium and he takes a look at the same from the hospitality perspective. He also points out that each and every experience in the venue is an indulgence to be remembered and celebrated and the food offered is one to die for.
 

Treasured moments

Nils Braude termed the Twickenham Stadium as a world class venue – “We hold about 22 to 23 events in a year. Concerts, rugby games, school events, and winter sports are also held. Each and every moment that the fans spend in the arena is a treasured one.”

He added, “We create an experience when the fan is at the stadium and we have that six to seven band areas and music around the stadium – both pre-events and post-events – and we create that in covered areas of the venue in and around the stadium with capacities of 1,000 each and those are used post-match for music entertainment. Twickenham Stadium provides full entertainment which is bang for the buck.”
 

Pitch-side Events

Events next to the hallowed turf really allow guests to experience the heart of Twickenham Stadium. Walking through the Players Tunnel where the England team line up on a matchday and stepping out into the stadium bowl surrounded by 82,000 seats is guaranteed to give goosebumps to even the non-rugby lovers.

A whole host of different types of events can be held pitch-side including popular BBQs, pre-dinner drinks receptions, award ceremonies, and team building. For added wow factor access to the England Changing Rooms can also be arranged either for dinner or drinks receptions and use of the jumbo screens and ribbon banner within the stadium bowl can be organized.
 

Tickling taste buds

Food and drink often features at the heart of events and the Twickenham Stadium offer award-winning catering provided by its in-house team. With a whole variety of different menu options fans won’t struggle to find something to suit his or her event.

Added Braude, “We have a really great food experience and we go with about 40 different street food operators – self-operated and software-operated and the demographic can match the food and proves to be a good epicurean experience for fans and once they come to the stadium they expect the quality of the street food to be high.”

Great hospitality is what the Twickenham Stadium symbolizes.
 

Stands

 

South Stand

The South Stand was opened in 2007 and holds circa 3,500 fans and “Covers hospitality in a much more traditional sense which includes fan experience. The stand boasts a purpose-built conference center which has been turned into a hospitality space and that is supplemented by the hospitality experience and music to the next level.”
 

East Stand

In 2018, the East Stand of Twickenham Stadium opened which is a 10,000 sqm space across six levels and creates opportunity within hospitality – “At the top at the right hand side is our Rose Garden which is meant for hospitality and free flow of food and drink and it creates a very casual hospitality environment. The price comes to 1500 to 2,000 pounds per head for internationals with safety checks and all-inclusive hospitality. It is open for five hours – three hours before the game and two hours post-match. It has a 570-seater auditorium.”
 

West Stand

It is a prestigious and historical stand and comes armed with a changing room, royal box, players’ tunnel, and pitch-side.
 

North Stand

The North Stand is a blank canvas with 1,400 sqm space.
 

More than Rugby…

The Twickenham Stadium is not just about rugby and has a comprehensive set of activities as Braude pointed out, “Obviously, we do lot more at the stadium than just rugby games 365 days in a year. We have esports, the venue is used for filming opportunities, traditional conferencing events, and business. We get people to understand the best use of the space and take events to the next level.”
 

Comfort food

The Twickenham Stadium food is a total gourmet spread and foodies simply relish it. Fans can get their jaws around mouth-watering stuff.

Stated Braude, “All meat, dairy and vegetables are sourced from the United Kingdom. It is an in-house team and we generally offer four courses. Ninety-five percent of our stuff is in-house that includes all our desserts, breads, etc. We are best defined by our gourmet food.”
 

Wrap-up

He summed up by stating, “It is about the services that we provide around that hospitality experience – from the sales process all way through to working with customers on their individual requirements and delivering against those expectations and promises is what matters the most.”

The Twickenham Stadium is not only on a roll as the ‘Home of Rugby’ but fans also swarm the stadium to enjoy simply sumptuous meals which leaves a lingering taste in their tongues. The stadium’s food area is undoubtedly the most coveted space and Nils Braude and his team work hard to provide that ultimate ‘Twickenham Experience’ to fans.

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