LIVERPOOL BEAT: A preview of what’s in store at ALSD International
Liverpool is a city best known for music and sport, being home to the Beatles, two Premier League sides in the form of the newly crowned champions, Liverpool Football Club, and local derby rivals Everton Football Club, as well as M&S Bank Arena (part of an event campus that includes ACC Liverpool and Exhibition Centre Liverpool), and Aintree Racecourse.
Liverpool Football Club’s iconic Anfield stadium, which will host the 2020 edition of ALSD International – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat and Hospitality sector – stands like a guardian, proudly watching over the city below it.
Commenting on the hosting of the ALSD International conference at Anfield, Paul Cuttill, Vice President – Stadium Operations, Liverpool Football Club, said:
We’re delighted to host the annual ALSD International conference at Anfield Stadium in October this year and showcase the home of Liverpool Football Club. We are looking forward welcoming colleagues and delegates from across the premium seat and hospitality sector for what promises to be an exciting and informative event.
The world-famous club, owned by Fenway Sports Group, completed a major redevelopment of its Main Stand back in 2017 and is now looking to potentially transform the Anfield Road Stand.
LFC’s New Main Stand has won many awards and accolades, including for best ‘Interior & Fit Out’; with judges commenting on how the new concourses highlighted both excellence and innovation in design, creating visually impactful sustainable solutions that were not only efficient in guiding fans, but also reinforced Liverpool FC’s famous brand.
The development forms part of a Liverpool City Council led regeneration of the wider Anfield area, with the masterplan including a major residential improvement programme, plus a new Planit-IE designed public realm space, which runs behind the Main Stand and links Walton Breck Road to the south to the historic Stanley Park to the north, all of which is now complete.
New-look Main Stand
The new setting has allowed the Main Stand to look outwards as well as inwards, and this in turn has generated opportunities to build a commemorative garden for the relocated Hillsborough Memorial at the heart of the ground, and an attractive non-match day environment for the local community.
The capacity of the Main Stand has increased from 12,200 to over 20,500 seats, making it the largest capacity single stand in the country. The existing lower tier retains general admission (GA) seats but also includes new hospitality and box seats to the rear, whilst the new middle tier provides further hospitality seats and the new upper tier a further 8,000 GA seats.
Whilst the expanded Main Stand is a big statement, visible from miles around, and the additional seating adds another dimension to the unique Anfield matchday experience, it still feels like it is part of the ground as a whole, and the architecture and interior spaces reinforce the concept of a premium stand in an honest and sympathetic way that reflects the values of the Club and its supporters.
The next project the club has in its sights is a proposed reimagining of the Anfield Road Stand. Local residents, representatives, businesses and supporters have all been invited to review Liverpool FC’s updated plans, which have been reshaped based on the feedback received in the initial stage of public consultation held in December last year.
During the first stage, more than 800 responses were received. The majority of the feedback was positive and supportive of the club’s vision, along with some constructive feedback from local residents on the impact of the proposed closure of a section of Anfield Road. Based on this feedback, the club’s second-stage plans now see Anfield Road realigned around the footprint of the proposed expanded stand, demonstrating the importance of the public consultation process and the club’s commitment to the local community.
The club has also progressed discussions on the design and configuration of the proposed refurbished stand. An outline of the number of GA seats within the stand would be 5,200, with around 1,800 lounge/sports bar-style hospitality.
The second stage of public consultation saw three public drop-in events take place at Anfield between February 12 and 24, providing residents, businesses and fans a further opportunity to see the updated plans, ask questions and provide feedback before a planning application is submitted to Liverpool City Council.
New Training Ground
On top of all of this, progress also continues apace ahead of the completion of Liverpool FC’s KSS designed Training Centre in Kirkby this summer.
The state-of-the-art training complex will bring together Liverpool’s First Team and Academy operations together for the first time in the club’s history.
The new 9,200sqm training centre creates a combined first team and U23 Academy facility, each of which has their own identity, along with new first-team pitches and parking within the site. The facilities will incorporate two gyms, a full-size sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites. There will also be dedicated TV studios, press conference facilities and office accommodation.
Everton Football Club
Situated the other side of Stanley Park sits the home ground of Everton Football Club, Goodison Park.
The city’s other English Premier League side invested in a major renovation project last year, which saw the transformation of the stadium’s hospitality lounges, with all of the suites and event spaces refreshed and upgraded.
Work on all nine hospitality lounges took place during last year’s close season, with a full transformation of the lounge appearances, along with updates to audio-visual equipment, all completed ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Ahead of the Club’s proposed move to Bramley-Moore Dock, subject to planning approval, the multi-million pound investment has improved matchday facilities for Members, while showcasing and testing new concepts, which the Club could look to take forward into a new stadium.
Oliver Wright, Head of Hospitality and Sales at Everton, said prior to the project’s commencement:
This project will help us bring Goodison Park’s hospitality offer up to a level which reflects the aspirations of the Club. The refurbishments to all our lounges will enhance the experience for Members and demonstrate what our approach to hospitality at a new stadium could be like.
Hospitality Lounges at Goodison Park have, and continue to be, sold out for a number of seasons and the move to Bramley-Moore Dock will enable the Club to further expand its hospitality offering.
The exciting new concepts we have created are uniquely Everton and will be a test bed for themes as well as an opportunity to expand the appeal of our hospitality experiences in the future.
The Club worked with 2M2 Studio, the architectural firm responsible for delivering the first-class facilities at the Royal Liver Building for the designs of all nine hospitality lounges at Goodison Park.
Dan Meis of MEIS Architects is the designer in charge of bringing the club’s vision for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock to reality; all of which attendees at the 2020 edition of ALSD International will get to see and hear first-hand, with a tour of the enhanced premium spaces at Goodison Park, as well as an update on the new stadium project, all planned.
The start of construction work on Everton FC’s new stadium later this year could help boost economic confidence in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, believes the project will kick-start the economy in the Merseyside region and beyond.
Murison said that a new Everton stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock has a vital part to play in the future of the northern economy, especially in the aftermath of Coronavirus (COVID-19):
Clearly the priority is protecting people’s health but you will have seen what the chancellor said about how we keep the economy going and there are significant projects like the stadium in north Liverpool which will make a big difference to the economy, not just in Liverpool but the wider north. Investments like this will unlock real economic potential.
If we can control the virus while keeping the economy going then yes, government investment will keep us going in the next few months but there is absolutely a role for mega-projects like this. The economic value of this development is significant in the construction phase but the economic value it will generate all through the year, not just when football is being played, is the reason why it is so important.
M&S Bank Arena
Sodexo has made a major investment into M&S Bank Arena Liverpool to enhance the customer experience.
Centerplate UK Limited, a subsidiary of the Sodexo Group, supports the ACC Liverpool Group with retail, catering and hospitality services.
Three new catering units have been installed, six existing kiosks have been revamped and new menus have been introduced to provide greater choice to customers and to improve the speed of service in the arena.
Each new food offer has been inspired by and named after an historic Liverpool dock, with concepts including South Seafood – influenced by fisherman’s dock South Ferry Basin – and Prince’s Chicken, named after Prince’s Dock which brought exotic spices from the Caribbean.
Tom Beauchamp, Sodexo Development Chef UK & Ireland, has created new menus, which have been specially adapted depending on the event, as he explained:
Our versatile new food offering will include items such as chilli and lime chicken wings, sticky sriracha beef ribs, and classic pizzas. Menus will also be tailored to the shows that our customers have come to see, so for example for Mrs Brown’s Boys we offered menus with an Irish theme. We are passionate about providing great tasting food and are delighted to be able to offer a much wider menu for customers before they head into the arena to enjoy a performance.
Drinks options have also been improved to include a wide range of draft beers, IPA and ciders for those who are seeking liquid refreshment. Meal deal options have been created to allow customers to enjoy a full dining and drinking experience.
Sodexo has worked closely with the ACC Liverpool Group to implement these changes.
Ben Williams, Commercial Director at the ACC Liverpool Group – who is one of the 50+ industry expert speakers taking part in the ALSD International conference – operator of M&S Bank Arena, said:
We want all our visitors to have a fantastic experience when they come to watch a show at M&S Bank Arena, which should start as soon as they walk through the door. It’s important that guests can relax with a drink and a tasty bite to eat and make a night of it.
We have been working closely with Sodexo and have made a significant investment to open three new units on the arena concourse and refurbish existing kiosks. We have upgraded equipment so will be able to offer a wider range of food and drinks while improving service. We continuously look at how we can enhance the visitor experience and have further developments planned for the future.
We are pleased to be able to give ALSD International attendees a behind the scenes glimpse at our exciting developments in the M&S Bank Arena. We are looking forward to welcoming guests to the Liverpool Gin Lounge for some great networking opportunities as part of what promises to be an interesting and fascinating conference.
Attendees at ALSD International will begin Day 1 of this unmissable event for all those involved in the Premium, VIP, Club Seating and Sports Hospitality sectors, with a networking reception in M&S Bank Arena’s brand new Liverpool Gin Lounge, while also being treated to a behind-the-scenes tour, before alighting buses bound for Anfield.
2019 saw a whole host of events take over every corner of Liverpool, alongside new bars, restaurants and attractions popping up all over the city.
The city also saw Liverpool FC bring home the Champions League trophy, welcomed the Vitality Netball World Cup, had BBC6 Music bring their show to the Baltic Triangle and saw the city’s most famous landmark, the Royal Liver Building, open their doors to a brand new 360 tour.
For 2020, Coronavirus-dependent, some of the highlights are set to include:
International Beatle Week: If you’re a Beatles fan you’re not going to want to miss this one! International Beatle Week is returning to Liverpool 26 August to 1 September 2020 for another week of celebrating the very best of the Beatles. Tribute bands from around the world will descend on The Cavern Club to pay homage to the biggest band in the world. It’s the perfect time to ‘Come Together’ and explore a bit of Beatlemania.
The Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art and it’s back 11 July-25 October 2020. The 11th edition is titled, “The Stomach and the Port”, and will explore notions of the body and ways of connections with the world. Over 50 international artists have been invited to respond to this theme within the context of Liverpool and will be taking over unexpected public spaces, historic sites and art galleries around the city.
Unfortunately, The Randox Health Grand National Festival 2020, which runs at the world-famous Aintree Racecourse every year was one of the hundreds of events affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with this year’s event having to be cancelled.
Organised by the 30-year-old Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD) in conjunction with Sports Venue Business (SVB), ALSD International is Europe’s one and only entity dedicated to the Premium, Club, VIP Seat and Hospitality sector.
The third edition of this industry-leading event, taking place at Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield stadium this October 12-13, will include a high-level conference featuring 50+ top industry executive speakers.
The two-day event will also deliver an exhibition hall showcasing the latest products, services and solutions, numerous networking events to ensure optimised opportunities to knowledge-share and do business, including access to 1-on-1 meetings, plus behind-the-scenes tours of Anfield, Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena, as well as some fabulous food and drink.
The following top industry executives are already confirmed as speakers:
• Billy Hogan, Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer, Liverpool FC
• Oliver Wright, Head of Hospitality and Sales, Everton FC
• Marshall Glickman, CEO, G2 Strategic
• George Vaughan, Head of Technology, Ascot Racecourse
• Rob March, Head of Commercial, Chester Race Company
• Matt Roberts, Director of Research & Insights, Formula 1®
• Borja Gonzalez, Stadium Business Manager, Athletic Club Bilbao
• Ben Williams, Commercial Director, The ACC Liverpool (M&S Bank Arena)
• Michael Artis, Strategy & Development Director, 20.20 Ltd
Euroleague Basketball and LaLiga will also be running in-depth panel sessions featuring top executives from both the leagues and their clubs/teams, discussing the latest challenges.
Euroleague Basketball’s panel will explore the League’s innovative strategy to sell premium seating for the Euroleague Final Four, as well as new initiatives regarding guest services, training and digital transformation:
- Moderator — Marshall Glickman, CEO, G2 Strategic
- Luca Scafati, Director of Business Operations, EuroLeague
- Une Jursktaite, Chief Business Officer, Zalgiris Arena & BC Zalgiris Kaunas
- Robin Gollbach, Head of Business Development, FC Bayern Munich Basketball
Anyone interested in exhibitor, speaker or sponsor opportunities, please email Katie McIntyre at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALSD International has recently transformed from a once-a-year event into an exclusive 365 community.
Membership of this niche group includes:
- Substantial discounts on passes to attend both ALSD and ALSD International events
- Digital copies of SEAT magazine
- Exclusive member-only content
- Premium Seating & Hospitality job postings sent to all team, venue and vendor members
- Inclusion in an exclusive Member Directory
- Access to networking events throughout the year
- Filmed roundtables and member interviews
- Assistance from ALSD and ALSD International head offices for contacts and networking
And much, much more, ensuring ALSD International is the go-to community for everyone involved in the Premium, Club, VIP Seating and Sports Hospitality sector.
ALSD Int. Membership Brochure 2020_2-28-20
For more information or to secure membership, go to: https://alsdinternational.com/#about
#football #PremierLeague #stadia #stadium #stadiums #Hospitality #SportsHospitality #PremiumSeating
The next edition of ALSD International – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector being hosted at Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield stadium – will feature a high level conference focused on how to increase revenue through new builds, renovations & service expansions, in addition to venue tours, networking events and an exhibition showcasing the latest products, services & solutions. In light of the global crisis caused by COVID-19, the conference will include sessions on how clubs, stadiums, venues and event organisers can look to recoup lost revenue and put more stringent systems in place moving forward.
#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector
#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat sector for the last 30 years