An architect who helped design the arenas used at the 2010 Fifa World Cup and 2014 Winter Olympics has told delegates at a sports conference that the English Premier League’s Manchester rivals United and City should consider sharing a stadium.
Ruben Reddy, speaking at the Soccerex event in Manchester, also said West Ham United must get rid of the athletics track at the London Stadium if they are to improve the arena’s atmosphere.
Discussing matters such as sustainability and usage, Reddy suggested local football rivals could look at sharing facilities, citing the San Siro in Milan which is the home ground of both AC Milan and Internazionale.
Addressing the challenges faced by stadiums around the world, he said of the two Premier League sides: “We have spoken about how football is the pride of this city but what would it be like if there was one stadium and both clubs used it?
“It is an interesting idea if it is to make sense economically and from a sustainability point of view.
“Even if we look at sharing, clubs have to unpack the story of how many uses they can get out of a stadium.”
Reddy was blunt about West Ham’s options, with the club having performed poorly since switching to the arena that was built to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
"You shouldn't keep the athletics track with the notion that some great athletics event is going to return,” he said. “That is why I am saying that stadiums should not be looked at as multi-use with athletics and football. You can have football and rugby. If you want to keep an athletics track, put a cricket oval in there."
Reddy added that sustainability should be a key consideration for any developer. He said that temporary stadiums for the 2018 Russia World Cup would mean building materials could be re-purposed after the tournament towards hospitals and schools.
He said: “Let’s do the right thing and build these facilities that disappear and become something else entirely.”