Industry News

2022 in review – August

Featured image credit: Rob Ridley

England’s sporting summer continued in August as more than 1.5 million fans attended the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The Commonwealth Games Federation said that Birmingham 2022 “set a new benchmark” for Commonwealth sport, with the 30,000-seat Alexander Stadium packed out for 12 consecutive athletics sessions.

According to the CGF, 40,000 jobs and volunteering opportunities have been created by the Games, with £38m (€43m/$46m) having been invested to get people more physically active. A further £21m of government investment will look to cement the profile of the city and region as a destination of choice.

In other news, the Cincinnati Bengals NFL team sold naming rights to Paul Brown Stadium for the first time, with human capital management company Paycor coming on board as its sponsor.

The deal, which will reportedly run for 16 years, officially rebranded the venue as Paycor Stadium. The stadium had been one of just three in the NFL without a naming-rights sponsor, alongside the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field and the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field.

Elsewhere in the US, plans were unveiled for a nine-figure renovation project at Los Angeles’ Arena and the adjacent L.A. Live Xbox Plaza.

The comprehensive slate of renovations is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2024, with Arena to remain open throughout the project.

Staying in LA, licensed sports merchandise business Fanatics signed a wide-ranging agreement with organisers of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the city.

As part of its agreement with the LA28 organising committee, Fanatics will operate retail spaces at Games venues and other locations across Los Angeles, while continuing to power the online retail platform for the events.

Meanwhile in China, real estate giant Evergrande Group announced that it will receive over RMB5.5bn (£651m/€743m/$788m) after cancelling a contract for land-use rights concerning a project to develop a stadium in Guangzhou with a capacity of at least 80,000.

Evergrande said the cancellation agreement will allow it to settle debts related to the project, as the embattled company seeks to raise funds to address wider debt payments. Evergrande had previously committed to completing the stadium, work on which commenced in April 2020.

Finally, plans were announced for a new basketball venue in the Japanese capital of Tokyo and a new baseball stadium in Incheon, South Korea.

Toyota announced plans for the Tokyo arena, which will be home of B.League team Alvark Tokyo and have a capacity of around 10,000. The 20,000-capacity Incheon stadium will be built by Shinsegae Group and will also host pop concerts, esports competitions, exhibitions and trade fairs.