Premier League football club stadiums could eventually be turned into indoor arenas at the touch of a button.
That’s the view of StadiArena founder and stadium expert Paul Fletcher, who has identified six professional clubs which could benefit from the firm’s technology.
The first football venue using the tech opened recently in Ahmedabad, India, hosting the Kabaddi World Cup after being built by TransStadia at a cost of £60 million.
Simply by touching a button, one of the stands converts into a 4,000-capacity, multi-purpose indoor arena that can host sports such as squash, concerts, exhibitions, conferences, trade shows and other events.
“We are definitely looking to use the technology in the UK,” Fletcher, who played professionally for Bolton, Burnley and Blackpool, told BusinessCloud.
“We’ve highlighted six football clubs and a financier who is very interested in funding the first one.
“One is a Premier League club – but this has nothing to do with the league clubs are in.
“It’s about the location: a good area, with catchment and community.
“We are looking to provide clubs with a true community building, every aspect of which is used.”
The idea behind Meriden-based StadiArena’s patented technology is to build a stadium that is used 13 days out of every 14, rather than just once a fortnight.
In effect, the venue would be a viable business without the club. That is the background to the Ahmedabad stadium in the state of Gujarat, where Udit Sheth, founder and MD of TransStadia, plans to attract a Hero Indian Super League team in due course.
And the concept would work in England, where there already facilities in place to suit such a community project, according to Fletcher.
“Every stadium has to have a massive car park which can be used for exhibitions or concerts: the facilities are there,” he said. “Toilets, food assessments are already in place: it’s just a matter of converting it.
“You could have a private medical floor used for X-raying, BUPA-style medicals and immediate treatment for players’ injuries. Members of the public could also use those facilities.
“You could have floors which turn into a hotel, or student bedrooms. The ground floor could be an exhibition space.”
Moves are already afoot to bring the conversion tech to the UK, which would gold-plate the technology and facilitate expansion across India, the US and Australia.
“In the next six months we are going to make a proposal to these clubs. We are finalising a business plan,” continued Fletcher.
“What is valuable to India is when something is tried and tested in the UK in terms of tech and finance: it’s like a gold star.
“We are looking for a showcase site in the UK – a marketplace for the rest of the world.
“And a club with an appetite to realise the vision.”
StadiArena is expecting to receive approval for a major sports and leisure complex in the US in the second quarter of 2017 while it is also active in Australia.
We reported last week how Sky is offering highlights of all Premier League matches via its cloud Wi-Fi to customers in pubs who sign up to show its matches.