As many venue owners seems to be struggling to make ends meet, trying to find suitable solutions to better utilize their venues and creating revenue generating assets, it seems that Wembley Stadium has found a very solid growth path, becoming one of the market “role models” when it comes to arena management.
Arguably, it needed to. After all the new Wembley Stadium came with a price tag well over USD 1,2 billion and it is still in its path to become a break even operation by the year 2015. Nevertheless the new Wembley administration is setting the tone by recognizing that as a multi-use facility, Wembley needs to make sure that the organizations holding events there feel at home and entirely supported by the arena’s staff and services.
However, Wembley’s permission only allow them to host up to 39 “bowl” events annually, which put the arena in disadvantage comparing to other London and European sports & entertainment facilities. For Instance the O2 can carry more than 100 events on annual base.
So! What is the magic behind Wembley’s success?
It is offering the best experience available, alongside a huge audience seating capacity of 90.000 people. But capacity is a double sword feature, because there a lot of big arenas on worldwide scale that have large facilities but are still losing tons of money on an annual basis. Wembley’s trick has been to focuses on hospitality, through its Club Wembley hospitality business.
The sheer scale of this segment within Wembley’s businesses is massive. The arena has 98 kitchens, 2,600 toilets, 4 of the largest restaurants in the London area with a seating capacity of 10,500 guests and 2 million squares feet of hospitality space. Club Wembley is in fact, responsible for a great share of the entire operations revenues, with a participation of more than 70% of the total revenues generated annually.
But the guys at Wembley are doing this daunting task, they have since the re-inauguration have been working alongside media & hospitality giant IMG to make the operation flow go strength to strength. Club Wembley’s understanding of their clientele has been vital to make sure the hospitality renewals are the best in the UK (they charge USD 16,160 annually for a club seat). Most Club Wembley’s customers are high net-worth individuals, therefore Club Wembley staffs are always prepared to go to the extra mile with the client, offering much more service than expected.
Wembley’s utilize CRM system to make all of this come true. Any information learned about Club Wembley is input into a profile and can be accessed by any relevant member of staff needing to communicate with a particular member – children’s age, birthdays, employment status, events attended, emails opened or ignored. The information is updated constantly. With all its recent success the Wembley managerial team, is also taking into consideration US inputs, mostly in the technology aspect of the business – smartphones and tablets facilitating action replays, food ordering among others - but always putting in the context what each sports are since American sports have a lot of stoopage time and professional soccer does not.