With a lot of competition, zeroing in on the world’s best sports stadium is no easy task. However, Brand Finance’s Football Annual has been released, which ranks clubs’ facilities around the globe on a number of categories and criteria, and its analysis has rated the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the best performing ground in the world.
Work carried out by global design engineering consultancy Buro Happold for the report rated the performance and operations of the world’s most famous stadia, adding another dimension to the respected industry review of the biggest brands in the game. Spurs’ new ground replaced Real Madrid’s Bernabeu at the top of the stadia ratings, though the Spanish giants retained their place as soccer’s biggest brand.
To carry out the analysis Buro Happold developed a detailed Venue Performance Rating (VPR) framework – measuring how the matchday experience created by football stadia can affect the brand value of the world’s biggest clubs and was first included in the 2019 Brand Finance Football 50 report. The VPR tool has continued to be refined since its inception last year, with the inclusion of more data, such as geospatial information and sentiment analysis. Furthermore, 3D models of more than 70 stadium seating bowls have been created to improve the acoustic assessments and to allow the introduction of metrics like spectator density.
The VPR system provides scores for three different criteria to calculate an overall rating. The primary factor is matchday experience, considering the view, sound, space and travel time for each stand in the stadium. The other two look at the stadium’s appeal to broadcasters and partners for sponsorship, and at the match impact – how the compactness of each stand can generate noise and affect events on the pitch. The rating system can highlight to owners and operators where a stadium is performing well and how its operations can be improved – providing a clear insight into its brand value.
Richard Haigh, Managing Director at Brand Finance, commented:
“Brand Finance’s study has valued and ranked the game’s biggest club brands for 15 years, but our collaboration with Buro Happold over the last two years has allowed us to add an important element to our work.
“Stadia are crucial assets for clubs, both in terms of brand recognition and fan experience. Showing owners and operators how to utilize these assets in the best way possible is vitally important in helping clubs continue to progress.”
Finishing top of the VPR ratings has helped Spurs rise a place to ninth in the overall report. Last year’s highest ranked stadium, the Bernebeu, fell to fifth, primarily due to scoring lower in revenue-generating features, possibly part of the reason why the stadium is undergoing renovations. This was where Spurs scored highest – with the stadium’s Sky Lounge, micro-brewery and Tunnel Club, among other features, boosting its score.
Andy Pottinger, Director at Buro Happold, commented:
“Last year Buro Happold launched the Venue Performance Rating system (now commonly referred to as VPR). The first version appeared in the Brand Finance Football Annual 2019, and was used as part of the brand assessment for the largest 50 clubs in Europe. The aim has always been to introduce ‘stadium science’, inspired by how sports science has transformed the way in which clubs (and fans, and scouts, and agents) appraise players.
“Our relationship with Brand Finance has continued, and we are delighted to be part of the Football Annual 2020. This year we have developed the structure further and doubled the amount of content – such as financial data, geospatial information and sentiment analysis. Furthermore, we have created 3D models of more than 70 stadium seating bowls to improve our acoustic assessments and to allow the introduction of metrics like spectator density.”