All stadiums built for one-off events should be temporary, says architect Ruben Reddy

by Matthew Campelli | 26 Sep 2016

Stadiums and arenas built for events such as the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games should all be temporary, according to South African architect Ruben Reddy.

Talking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, Reddy told delegates that the structures should be designed so that they can be deconstructed and the materials used to create other civic buildings such as hospitals and school.

He used his native South Africa as an example, highlighting white elephants such as the Moses Mabhida Stadium – built for the 2010 World Cup – which is rarely used despite being built for US$450m (£347.4m, €400m), and is costing the taxpayer millions in maintenance.

Reddy said the facade of the GMP-designed stadium was already “falling down” despite being only six years old. He also pointed to the fact that the city’s Sharks rugby team couldn’t play there due to “political reasons” as equally inefficient.

His firm – Ruben Reddy Architects – is behind the plan for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, and by using existing and temporary facilities he said the cost of hosting the whole event was £57m (US$73.8m, €65.6m), or as he described it, half of the transfer fee paid by Manchester United for Paul Pogba.

Premier League football clubs are guilty of inefficient practices when it comes to operating stadiums, said Reddy, who queried a comment made by former Arsenal vice-chair David Dein earlier in the day about the league’s stadiums having 98 per cent occupancy throughout the season.

“If you have 60 events in a stadium that still leaves 300 days unoccupied,” he said. “That’s 16 per cent use of your building.”

Reddy put forward the “controversial view” that teams in the same city – such as Manchester United and Manchester City – should share a stadium, but conceded that it was an unlikely notion, although it would increase occupancy up to 50 per cent.

He also said that West Ham United would have to “retrospectively” reduce the capacity of the Olympic Stadium – or lower its roof – due to the lack of atmosphere, although the Premier League club has gone on record to state that it is will try to push through a further capacity increase.

Architecture  major events  World Cup  Olympic Games  Ruben Reddy  Manchester United  Manchester City 
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Stadiums and arenas built for events such as the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games should all be temporary, according to South African architect Ruben Reddy. Talking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, Reddy told delegates that the structures should be designed so that they can be deconstructed and the materials used to create other civic buildings such as hospitals and school. He used his native South Africa as
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Reddy claimed the Moses Mabhida Stadium in South Africa is rarely used despite being built for US$450m and costing the taxpayer millions in maintenance / Flickr
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