2020 In Review – January

The year got off to a start with two significant business deals in the US concerning Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and On Location Experiences.

Global transportation, automotive and motorsport specialist Penske Corporation completed its acquisition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar motor-racing series. Penske became only the fourth owner in the history of the iconic IMS, with Tony Hulman and Hulman & Company having owned and managed the circuit since 1945.

Sports and entertainment agency Endeavor acquired a majority equity ownership stake in experiential hospitality company On Location Experiences, the official hospitality partner of American football league the NFL. Endeavor acquired its stake from existing investors in a deal reportedly valued at $660m.

In the UK, Birmingham City Council’s planning committee approved the redevelopment of Alexander Stadium ahead of the English city’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games multi-sport event in 2022, while Lancashire Cricket Club received the green light from Trafford Council for the next phase of the redevelopment of its Emirates Old Trafford stadium.

In other project news, Turkish construction company Summa landed the contract to develop a new 50,000-capacity stadium that will serve as the centrepiece of Senegal’s staging of the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG), an event that was subsequently put back to 2026.

In the sponsorship sphere, Etihad Airways agreed a deal to acquire naming rights to Yas Bay Arena, a new multi-purpose indoor arena in Abu Dhabi. There were other naming rights contracts concerning Madrid’s WiZink Center, Utilita Arena Birmingham and Malmo’s Eleda Stadion.