This is the third in a series of 4 blog posts in which we explore what football clubs and other sporting organisations should consider in relation to maximising the commercial value of their facilities. In our first post, we looked at when a club should consider expanding or re-developing their stadium. In our second post, we considered utilisation as a factor to be considered in any stadium re-development. This week, we consider the impact a stadium re-development could have on a community.
A major league sports club has immense social value and supporters consider their patronage of a club as an element of their identity - key to their family, social and community life. The engagement of the local community is key to a club sustaining and developing its supporter base, and helps to maintain valuable relationships with the local community which can be key to a club’s branding success.
From a real estate perspective, successful planning and development outcomes are more likely to be achieved with wide community engagement. A stadium led urban regeneration project to re-energise a community will always be a more attractive product to sell to a local authority than an island redevelopment. The wider impact of a community approach can also prove as beneficial to the club as the community. For example, facilities shared with the community can assist with security, preventing a stadium becoming a dead zone away from match days. It can also drive revenue from conferencing and increase footfall to retail areas as well as promote year on year increases in the real estate value of the club’s assets within the community.
Developing facility in the stadium that are more attractive because of their association with a club (such as a gym, hotel or conference centre) in turn enhancing the brand.
There are also many benefits to using local labour and products. Developing relationships with local suppliers can help to integrate a club into its surroundings, increasing corporate match day revenue and advertising, and increasing the club’s standing with the local business community.
If you are embarking on a major development project, we know how important it is for you to think ahead, anticipate pitfalls and find practical solutions. Mills & Reeve have a team of more than 114 real estate lawyers all around the UK with a wealth of experience in major real estate development, finance, construction and planning. If you require any assistance in this area, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Pike or Mark Hovell.
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