Planning and managing the stadium experience

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of how the planning and management of the stadium can impact on the customer experience. The task of ensuring that the customer’s experience within the ‘sportscape’ (Wakefield, Blodgett and Sloan, 1996) is memorable is one strategy to increasing stadium attendance and customer satisfaction. In the business of stadium management many experiential aspects are influenced by aesthetics, space and accessibility within the built environment. The increasing professionalization of sport has seen stadium developments begin to reflect the requirements of the sport business. Modern stadia are more than just sporting facilities and their services, sporting and non-sporting now have to cater for more than one type of customer. These stadia can also assist in the acquisition of major events to cities and regions. For instance, the staging of the Olympic Games has led to many host cities building or redeveloping their stadium offer in order to meet event requirements. These requirements are one of a number of factors that have led to a proliferation of stadium development in many countries. This chapter will examine strategic management considerations for providing optimal customer experiences to ensure long term benefit to the sport business. First this chapter will review the key drivers of stadium developments. Designing stadia to be accessible, spacious and aesthetically pleasing is important in order to provide the setting for enhancing customer experiences (Bitner, 1992; Bodet, 2009; Wakefield et al, 1996). These designs provide the link to allow operations to support memorable experience creation and will be the focus of the second part of the chapter. The final part of this chapter will review how Arsenal Football Club designed the Emirates Stadium to cater for their supporters with disabilities (‘purple members’). This case forms a practical example of the issues discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Sport Business: An Introduction
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9780415570282
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2011


  • experiential marketing
  • stadium management
  • sport business


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