Sports Facilities: Is it time to redevelop?

The full impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on club’s finances may not be seen for some time and will likely lead to a tightening of belts for clubs around the globe but it remains the case that the Premier League is outperforming competitor leagues in terms of inward investment and revenues.

The latest analysis undertaken by the Football Benchmark team of the KPMG Sports Advisory Practice shows six of the ten clubs with the greatest enterprise value play in England. It is perhaps no surprise that increasing funding has led clubs to look at improving their infrastructure especially as the Premier League has one of the highest stadium utilisation rates across the major European leagues despite lagging behind both Germany and Spain in average stadium capacity.

Of the nine Premier League clubs ranked in the KPMG report, all but Manchester United are reported to have plans for stadium expansion or redevelopment at various stages, despite hold-ups due to Covid-19. Tottenham’s new White Hart Lane development that cost £850million to build and almost doubled capacity was named the second best arena in the world at the Stadium of the Year awards 2020. With the average Premier League stadium approximately 11% smaller than the average Bundesliga stadium, expansion makes good sense for clubs looking to compete on the European stage.

Investing in bigger and better facilities allows a club to create a better “shop front” to welcome supporters, attract players and drive better returns from corporate investment but isn’t without pitfalls. Whilst a club’s real estate is often one of its most valuable assets it can also be a costly and underutilised space, and can lead to significant liabilities accruing.

On field matters can have a considerable impact on the demand for facilities, meaning that developing a successful estates strategy to produce sustainable growth is a huge task. Delivery of an estates strategy, however, particularly identifying opportunities to offset costs and enable development can be a valuable tool in improving efficiency and productivity with the aim of gaining a competitive advantage.

Find out more about the future of real estate, visit our interactive map: Mapping the FutuRE


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