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First Base is the equivalent of an 'Editorial'. It is the opportunity for S & A to provide comment and provoke discussion on topical issues relating to leisure and tourism. This will be provided each month and we would welcome your feedback on the matters raised.

First Base 25: Cardiff City Football Club Dissertation Study

Date: 27/7/2004

After first joining Stevens & Associates, Terry’s passion of stadia quickly began to rub off on myself. Being an ardent sports fan anyway, it was not long before I also became interested in their design, management and function.

I have recently received my MSc in Leisure and Tourism Resource Management. For the dissertation I decided to continue my love affair with stadia.

The overall aim of the study was to determine the economic and visitor potential of a new stadium for Cardiff City Football Club. In order to complete the study, two research methodologies were used. A qualitative interview was undertaken with eleven key representatives from relevant industries to gauge the economic and visitor potential of multi use stadia, to evaluate what the potential is for realising the project, to identify the economic and social impacts of stadia, and to determine the tourist and visitor potential of the development. A quantitative survey was also conducted to calculate the level of spectator spending in the community and to study the demographic profile of the public attending an event at Ninian Park.

The results of the qualitative study revealed that multi-use stadia and their secondary developments are becoming increasingly important to clubs’ financial security. It revealed that a successful club must be able to generate income from a range of sources. The results indicated that stadia and their sports teams contribute many economic benefits for their host communities and also act as hubs for redevelopment strategies. The results also highlighted minimal negative impacts associated with infrastructure and social issues. The results of the quantitative survey indicated that significant secondary spending occurs outside stadia which provides net economic benefit for the local community. The survey also revealed a high proportion of supporters living within the core catchment of affluent social backgrounds, and provided evidence of city centre visitation and shopping activity before the match. This suggests a strong potential for high spending at the proposed development providing the correct traders are on-site.

In conclusion, the primary research undertaken for the study presented a cautious but positive economic and visitor potential for a new stadium development for Cardiff City Football Club.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me complete this study:

Terry – for including me on the initial consultancy study for Cardiff City Football Club’s new stadium, and for his advice throughout the study.

The interviewees for their co-operation and opinions:
Geraint John – Professor of Architecture, Luton University.
Mark Bisson – Editor, Stadia Magazine.
Julian Radley – Publisher, Panstadia Magazine.
George Johnstone, Group Properties Director, Manchester United FC.
Gareth Moores – Commercial Director, Bolton Wanderers FC.
Russell Loughland – Business Development Director, Chelsea Village at Chelsea FC.
Peter Randall – former Stadium Manager at Fulham FC.
Stuart Ryan – Commercial Director, West Ham FC.
Barry Aspinall – Associate Director of Leisure, JJB Sports.
Rory Whitehead – Manager, Millennium Hotel, Reading Madejski Stadium.
Cardiff City FC supporters who were interviewed at the Peterborough match at Ninian Park last November.

The lecturers and library staff at Swansea Institute.

Carwyn Williams

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