Satisfying Key Stakeholders

The choice of spectator seating is one of the most critical decisions for a venue.  That’s because the seating is the public face of the venue and what the spectator touches, feels and interacts with.

Sebel - Cardiff Stadium

Accordingly you would expect the decision to be one of the more involved and complex. This is often the case with final approval requiring ministerial blessing. Surprisingly on other jobs the decision is made with very little consultation and deliberation.  The decision process is to a degree dependent on the procurement process, type of contract and contracting parties and whether the project is a new stadium or a refit to an existing venue. Over 3 decades, Sebel has built up a large repository of expertise and understanding of the issues and perspectives of key parties involved in such decisions, for example:

Architect: The seat shape, form and colour (pattern) have a major impact on the aesthetics of a stadium. ANZ Stadium (main venue for the Olympic Games in Sydney) is instantly recognisable from the coloured wave pattern that Sebel incorporated into the seating. The seating dimensions and frame design can also influence the required design and dimensions of the pre-cast seating plats and the vomitory requirements.

Structural Engineer: Will be interested to know the loads that the frame fixings will have on the plats, fixing zones and embedment depth. Will need to be satisfied of the welding integrity on the seating frames.

Fire & Safety Engineer / Building Certifier: It is critical that the fire consultant be involved in the evaluation as the seating decision can have an impact on the access/egress requirements as well as general fire engineering service requirements.

Operator: Knows better than anyone the likely behaviour or misbehaviour of the fans and the consequences this may have for seating. If cleaning of the stadium is subcontracted, then it is important that this company also be consulted.

Venue Marketing Staff / Speciality-Marketing Firms: The choice of seating can be a key factor in the promotional mix, particularly for premium seating. Recently speciality-marketing companies have created a niche market by bundling in the sale of premium seat licences with the sale of other commercial right packages. Such companies recognise that the quality of the seat offered can be an essential ingredient in attracting the corporate clientele.

Ticketing Operator: It is important that the seating contractor coordinates with the ticketing company. It is not unusual for tickets for a major event to go on sale well before the completion of the seating installation. Hence cooperation and integration of IT systems between the two companies become extremely important.

Building Contractor: Interested in minimising their technical (compliance with design brief etc.)  and commercial (subcontractor performance) risk.

Spectators: Expect the seating to be comfortable, reliable and safe. Premium seating clients expect a discernible difference between their seating and that of the general public. Both expect high quality – the difference can be accounted for by the addition of value adding options like arms, cup holder and upholstery.

End-User / Client: In this context the end user/client is defined as the developer/owner, be it private or public. This party will want to ensure that they are receiving value for money.

Quantity Surveyor / Project Manager: Again main concern is that their client is receiving value for money.