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Features

2021 in review – September

The Los Angeles Clippers NBA basketball franchise signed up software company Intuit as the naming-rights sponsor of its new arena as the project broke ground.

Intuit agreed a 23-year strategic partnership reportedly worth over $500m (£377m/€443m). The 18,000-seat Intuit Dome is scheduled to open in Inglewood, California in time for the 2024-25 NBA season.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers announced Indianapolis-based digital financial services company Gainbridge as the new naming-rights sponsor of Bankers Life FieldHouse. The multi-year deal officially rebranded the arena as Gainbridge Fieldhouse with immediate effect.

September also saw Premier League football club Liverpool stage an official ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of its Anfield Road Stand.

The expansion underwent enabling works throughout the summer and Liverpool was in a position to begin the project by the end of September. The redevelopment of the stand will see 7,000 more seats added to Anfield, taking its overall capacity to more than 61,000.

In motorsport, it was announced that Qatar would stage a Formula 1 race for the first time as part of a long-term deal with the promoters of the motor-racing world championship.

Qatar staged its first race in November and will become a regular fixture on the calendar from 2023 through a 10-year agreement with F1. No event will be held in 2022 as Qatar is hosting football’s FIFA World Cup.

Meanwhile, it was announced that only people who reside on the Chinese mainland would be able to attend the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing after COVID-19 guidelines for the event were released. The announcement came after no spectators were permitted at this year’s summer Olympics or Paralympics in Tokyo.

In hospitality news, catering and facilities management provider Sodexo rebranded its Centerplate unit as Sodexo Live! as part of a plan to accelerate growth in Spain and the Asia-Pacific region.

The rebrand was confirmed nearly four years after US-headquartered Centerplate was acquired by Sodexo. Sodexo Live! will focus on five priority business segments, spanning stadiums and arenas, conference and convention centres, global events, cultural destinations and airport lounges.

Image: LA Clippers