Industry News

2022 in review – January

Featured image credit: Jeff Davison

January saw the official termination of a deal that had sought to deliver a new arena for the NHL’s Calgary Flames, while there was positive news in New Zealand after designs were approved for a new multi-purpose stadium in Christchurch.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, parent company of the Flames, had previously exited the C$634m (£384m/€439m/$465m) project and the plans were officially ended on January 4.

It was reported at the time that CSEC and the City of Calgary had spent between C$20m and C$25m on the project up to the termination of the deal.

Meanwhile in Christchurch, the city council announced a new name for a new 30,000-seat stadium in the city – Te Kaha. The name is a shortened version of Te Kaharoa (meaning ‘enduring strength’).

The new designs were approved by the council after its decision to approve a concept for a smaller design was criticised by locals. The design concept will mean that the venue is capable of hosting up to 41,000 people for concerts.

Elsewhere, attendance at the Australian Open tennis tournament was capped at 50% as COVID-19 continued to have an impact on sporting events.

Face masks were also required for all fans attending the event in Melbourne. The attendance cap eventually increased to 65% for the semi-finals and 80% for the finals, with a total of 346,468 fans attending over the course of the two-week tournament.

In January, capacity restrictions were also lifted for outdoor sports venues in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Restrictions had been put in place to stop the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

On the sponsorship front, financial technology company Acrisure acquired naming rights to the Coachella Valley Arena in Palm Springs, California, which opened later in the year. Back in the UK, financial services company Sage agreed a deal to sponsor a new arena and conference development on Gateshead Quayside.

Finally, France was awarded hosting rights to the 2025 Rugby League World Cup. Forty cities across the country will stage games across the men’s, women’s, wheelchair and youth events.