2020 In Review – November

The NFL and payment services brand Visa detailed plans to make the American football league’s Super Bowl a cash-free event from this season. Visa, the official payment services technology partner of the NFL, will allow safe and secure digital payments at Super Bowl, which this season will take place at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Super Bowl LV, which is scheduled to take place on February 7, will offer 100% digital payment acceptance for fans at Raymond James Stadium, including parking, concessions, retail, mobile ordering and more.

Details of a new venue masterplan for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games were confirmed amid a continued cost-cutting drive by the organising committee. The new plan was presented during an Executive Board meeting, with organisers claiming the new vision enables certain venues to be shared to allow for budget savings and tighter control of funds. The plans, which include two temporary venues – the Aquatics Stadium and Le Bourget Arena – being dropped, were presented following a six-month engagement process with stakeholders.

DHL reportedly secured the naming rights to Cape Town Stadium ahead of the arrival of the Western Province and Stormers rugby teams in 2021. The four-year deal between the multinational logistics and delivery operator and the stadium built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is believed to be worth R111m. The venue will be known as DHL Stadium.

It was confirmed that Saudi Arabia will host its biggest ever sporting event when it stages its inaugural F1 grand prix in Jeddah in November 2021 following the signing of a long-term partnership between Formula 1 and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation. The event will take place on Jeddah’s corniche, which runs along the banks of the Red Sea. The race will be run on a street track, but there are plans for the grand prix to move to a purpose-built circuit in the future.

Construction can begin on the £260m Gateshead development, which will include a 12,500-capacity arena managed by ASM Global, after plans were given final approval by the local authority. Gateshead Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the proposals submitted by its development partner, Ask: Patrizia. The redevelopment scheme at Gateshead Quays will feature a 29,000 sqm venue for entertainment and sports alongside international conferences, meetings and exhibitions as well as festivals and cultural events. A source told TheStadiumBusiness.com that boxing, darts and basketball are among the sports set to be staged at the arena.

Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium welcomed a crowd of 49,155 for the State of Origin finale between Queensland and New South Wales, marking the biggest attendance in world sport since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The attendance fell slightly short of Suncorp Stadium’s 52,500 capacity, but was enough to eclipse the 46,000 figure that was posted for November’s Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between New Zealand and Australia at Auckland’s Eden Park.

Image: Jennifer Snyder/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size