2020 In Review – February

US President Donald Trump inaugurated the world’s biggest cricket venue in India, giving a speech at the reconstructed 110,000-capacity Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The Motera Stadium had been under construction since January 2017 after the old venue, with a seating capacity of 53,000, was demolished in 2015. Populous designed the stadium, home to the Gujarat Cricket Association, and it was built in collaboration with India’s top contractor, Larsen & Toubro.

In other new venue news, the organising committee for Tokyo’s Olympic and Paralympic Games hit another milestone after the Ariake Arena officially opened. In football circles, Everton named Laing O’Rourke as the preferred contractor for its new 52,000-seat stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, while FC Barcelona unveiled its latest offering to enhance matchday revenue, a new fan experience space entitled La Rambla del Barça.

In Brazil, the Arena BsB consortium secured full control of Brasilia’s Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha through a 35-year deal that will seek to transform the venue and generate thousands of jobs for locals.

In the US, Legends launched a new global unit, Legends Global Partnerships, to centralise and expand its existing partnership solutions into a dedicated division that connects leading properties and venues with premier brands. Staying in the marketing sphere, Honda agreed a 10-year extension to its naming rights partnership with the home arena of NHL team the Anaheim Ducks, while Juventus renewed its wide-ranging partnership with Allianz, through which the German financial services company retained naming rights to Allianz Stadium.

In a sign of things to come, TheStadiumBusiness.com published its first COVID-19 story on February 5. The 13,000-capacity Hongsham Gymnasium in Wuhan was one of a number of sports facilities in China’s Hubei Province that were converted into makeshift hospitals as the country attempted to contain the virus outbreak.