Trend Setting Mid-sized Arenas

11 May 2021
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Originally published in 1st quarter 2021 issue of PanStadia & Arena ManagementRead the full article here.


Walter P Moore’s National Sports Market Leader Bart Miller explores how municipal, multi-purpose arenas are paying off for the communities they serve.

Municipalities across the United States are investing in mid-sized, multi-purpose arenas to create jobs, increase tax revenues, anchor mixed-use developments and entertainment districts and stimulate private investment and economic growth. These venues are often publicly funded or fi nanced through a variety of public-private-partnerships and serve as critical community assets designed to host concerts, convocations and graduations, equestrian events, and minor league basketball or hockey. The success of
these venues depends on maximising the number of event dates, attracting multiple tenants and expanding revenue potential to prove economically viable in the long term.

Walter P Moore is currently involved in more than a dozen arena venues ranging from 6,000 to 12,000 seats and has seen several strategies emerge that have proven to maximise value, reduce first costs, and accelerate speed to market for these critical public investments.

Focus on Value
Multi-purpose arenas of all sizes must be designed with a focus on revenue generation and fan experience, but mid-sized venues are especially vulnerable to economic forces due to smaller local populations, limited funding sources, and the lack of a major sports franchise as a primary tenant.

These venues must be strategically planned and proportioned for a variety of uses, with a focus on alternative or unconventional seating bowl confi gurations, premium amenities that reflect local demand and demographics, and the flexibility to accommodate
future modifi cations that reflect changing fan preferences.

To attract touring shows, smaller arenas must be designed with a flexible, high-capacity rigging grid, adequate clear height to the underside of the grid, and convenient catwalk level access for various camera angles and lighting scenarios. Often a 270-degree
permanent seating bowl with retractable seating solutions on all four sides is the more economical approach for buildings with end-stage concerts as a principal driver of revenue.

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