The Art & Science of Temporary Stadiums – No White Elephants

Go Lean Commentary

Learn from Greece – Why build expensive permanent stadiums for temporary (sports/cultural) events, when there is such an effective art and science with temporary stadiums?! This important lesson was ignored in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean, serving as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), advocates this lesson and declares that “a mission of the CU is to forge industries and economic drivers around the individual and group activities of sports and culture”. There is the need for temporary stadiums for events and festivals; (see Temporary Structures Models & Systems Appendix below).

This temporary stadium was erected in Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup championship game.

This temporary stadium was erected in Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup championship game.

The need to optimize sports/cultural events & festivals have previously been addressed in the following Go Lean blogs entries:

a. Sports Bubble – Franchise values in basketball
b. Sports Revolutionary: Advocate Jeffrey Webb
c. PM Christie responds to critics of Bahamian ‘Carnival’
d. Book Review: ‘The Sports Gene’
e. Bahamians Make Presence Felt In Libyan League
f. Collegiate Sports in the Caribbean
g. Could the Caribbean Host the Olympic Games?

All in all, the book and accompanying blogs declare that the region needs to learn lessons from other sporting venues like Athens-Greece, South Africa and Brazil. The people of the Caribbean cannot afford such monumental mis-steps – see VIDEO below. So this Go Lean… Caribbean roadmap applies the lessons learned and details the following 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

This roadmap commences with the recognition that genius qualifiers can be found in many fields of endeavor, including music, sports and the performing arts. To exploit the economic benefits of these fields require some facilitation, like stadia, arenas and theaters. The roadmap pronounces the need for the region to confederate in order to invest in the facilitations for the Caribbean genius to soar. These pronouncements are made in the Declaration of Interdependence, (Pages 13 & 14) as follows:

xxi.      Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxii.      Whereas sports have been a source of great pride for the Caribbean region, the economic returns from these ventures have not been evenly distributed as in other societies. The Federation must therefore facilitate the eco-systems and vertical industries of sports as a business, recreation, national pastime and even sports tourism – modeling the Olympics.

The Go Lean vision is a confederation of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean forming a proxy organization to do the heavy- lighting of building, funding and maintaining sports/event venues. The strategy is to deploy temporary structures where appropriate on CU fairgrounds, as some events may require specific configurations, but only for a few days every year. Tactically, the Go Lean roadmap calls for a separation-of-powers between the member-state governments and the new federal agencies; so the CU will serve as the landlord for local, national and regional events.

The subsequent article and VIDEO (from the cable channel HBO’s documentary Real Sports) describes the folly for expensive permanent stadiums for short-term events; especially while the art and science of temporary stadiums is so effective.

Title: HBO’s Real Sports tackles the white elephants of the World Cup and Olympics
Posted by Joe Lucia on May 20, 2014 10:31

The lead story of May’s episode of Real Sports on HBO tackles the World Cup, but in a different way

Next month’s World Cup in Brazil (starting June 12, 2014) has resulted in numerous brand new soccer stadiums being built all across the country. Once the World Cup ends, the stadiums will more than likely remain dormant – which is where the “white elephants” title of the segment comes into play. In South Africa four years ago, ten stadiums were built at the cost of billions of dollars. Nine of those stadiums stand relatively unused today.

The same thing happens when countries host the Olympics – it doesn’t take too much effort to find evidence of stadiums or arenas being built solely to hold events and then be used for nothing or razed years later. The 2004 Olympics in Athens are a stark example of the waste that goes into holding events like the Olympics and the World Cup, as many of the arenas and stadiums built for the events stand empty.

Perhaps even more shocking – the organizers of these events in those host countries openly admit to having no plan for the future of the venues. The Greek economy collapsed in large part to the massive amount of waste that went into the Olympics a decade ago, with the crumbling stadiums as reminders of that waste.

Today, Brazil is preparing by the World Cup by spending more money than any country in history. A brand new, $270 million stadium was built in the remote town of Manaus for just four games this World Cup. Manaus is so remote that many Brazilians can’t even drive there. Materials to build the stadium were shipped from Portugal, across the Atlantic Ocean and transported down the Amazon River. All that for four games in a town that HBO described as “a weigh station.”

The organizers are oblivious to this. The designer of the stadium in Manaus claims that when people watch the games on television, they will become aware of the city, and tourism and investment opportunities will increase. Apparently, eight hours of soccer over the month of June will create all of that goodwill.

For a country like Brazil, bathed in poverty, to burn away billions of dollars on stadiums and arenas for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics is shameful. Once the World Cup ends and Olympics preparation begins, homes in Rio de Janeiro will be razed to make room for the venues, sending many Brazilian citizens into homelessness for the sake of a two week sporting event.

in a country like Brazil that is teetering on the edge of financial chaos, dumping billions of dollars into sports while a bulk of your citizens are poor, starving, and lacking healthcare seems like a recipe for a disaster, with nothing but empty stadiums and a page on Wikipedia to show for it when all is said and done.

VIDEO: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Episode #206 Web Clip – White Elephants (HBO Sports) –

Jon Frankel travels to Athens, Greece plus Manaus and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and looks for answers to the question of: Are billions being wasted on World Cup and Olympic venues?

The Go Lean book details these series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies designed to re-boot the delivery of the regional solutions, so badly needed and hoped for:

Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Strategic – Visitors – Snow Birds at RV Campgrounds Page 55
Strategic – Staffing – Events at Fairgrounds Page 55
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Sports & Culture Administration Page 81
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Fairgrounds Administration Page 83
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities Page 105
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Local Government – Parks & Recreation Page 169
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Events Page 191
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Fairgrounds Page 192
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Expositions Page 197
Anecdote – Model of Miami-DadeCounty Youth Fair Page 227
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Sports Page 229
Advocacy – Ways to Improve the Arts Page 230
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Music Page 231
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living – Sports Leagues Page 234
Temporary Stadiums - Golf

This stadium is the Pakar Seating Grandstand system. It is so versatile that it’s suitable for any type of Golf Competition event.

The foregoing article discourages investment in permanent venues unless there is a solid long-term business plan. The Go Lean roadmap concurs – Greece did not recover from the flawed Olympic build-out for facilities that were never used again after the 2004 Games. On the other hand, here is the encouragement and recommendation to develop fairgrounds and deploy temporary stadia, arenas and theaters. Imagine a golf tournament; no one would expect bleachers and grandstands at the putting greens to be permanent structures. No, there is a place for temporary structures in the world of sports.

Temporary Stadiums - Beach Volleyball

The Bondi Beach Volleyball Stadium was constructed for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and stood for just six weeks. The temporary stadium was constructed on the world-famous Bondi Beach and had over 10,000 seats.

There is one sport, Beach Volleyball, which only uses temporary bleachers/grandstands – 100 percent.
So there is a place for the arts & sciences of temporary structures. There is the need for their economic impact.

The Go Lean roadmap anticipates 21,000 direct jobs at fairgrounds and sports enterprises throughout the region.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in for the empowerments of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. Now is the time to make this region a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!



Appendix A – Sample New Stadiums for Brazil
The permanent structures call for more elaborate construction schedules and risks. Some delays have been unavoidable – see this article (photos) on the Sao Paulo stadium slated for the opening game on June 12, 2014; posted and retrieved 06/04/2014:

Brazil prepares…
When Brazil drafted plans to host the upcoming World Cup, Natal, the Atlantic beach destination was exactly the type of city it wanted to show off. Five years later, and four weeks before kickoff, little besides the arena and a remote, untested airport are complete.

Almost half the more than $1.3 billion in promised developments [in Natal] never began. What did [begin] has languished, including ongoing road work that has rendered the stadium’s outskirts a raw sprawl of rebar, dust and concrete. (Reuters)

An aerial view of the Arena Pantanal soccer stadium in Cuiaba, April 25, 2014. Cuiaba is one of the host cities for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. See photos here (REUTERS/Joel Marcos):

Temporary Stadiums - Natal

An Aerial view of the Arena das Dumas from January 22, 2014; this stadium will host matches for the 2014 soccer World Cup.

Temporary Stadiums - Cuiaba

This is the incomplete stadium in Natal; with 4 weeks before the first event, the infrastructural improvements for the surrounding areas have still not been completed.

Temporary Stadiums - Sao Paulo

People stand in the bleachers during an infrastructure test at Arena de Sao Paulo Stadium, one of the venues for the 2014 World Cup, in the Sao Paulo district of Itaquera April 26, 2014.

Appendix B – Temporary Structures Models & Systems
Many examples of successful temporary stadia, arenas and theaters abound – see photos here.

Here are 2 reputable vendors for providing these products and services.

1. PAKAR Grandstand is extremely versatile, therefore, it can be installed either as a PERMANENT or REMOVABLE Grandstand. It can be displaced and re-installed at any location quickly and easily. The system of frames is pre-assembled with an interlocking system, ties, braces, beams and deck units that locks together for fast assembly. Our Grandstand can be installed on any type of surface i.e. concrete, grass and sand (Desert). It can be installed on a slope depending on soil condition. Our system can be used both Outdoor and Indoor. For Outdoor use, it can be equipped with a roof system (Complete roofing or Semi-roofing). Source:

Temporary Stadiums - Padel

Padel is a relatively new racquet sport that is extremely popular in Spain. The logistics of this platform accommodates each individual sports event and is 600 square meters in size and has 3,000 seats around it.

Temporary Stadiums - Soccer

This stadium is a modular stadium built by NUSSLI who has developed flexible and sustainable concepts for popular global sports and cultural events

Temporary Stadiums - Theater

This stadium is not only for sporting events, but it is ideal for cultural activities as well.

Grandstand bleachers for a drag racing configuration

2. Temporary Stadium, Modular Stadium Construction, Stadia Expansion.

NUSSLI provides complete modular stadiums and arenas or additional grandstands – with or without roofing. We offer our stadium construction solutions for rental (temporary) or sale (permanent).

The experience gained from multifaceted stadium projects around the world makes NUSSLI a reliable partner in modular stadia construction and in stadium expansion. NUSSLI‘s mobile stadia fulfill the highest demands in regard to safety, functionality, and architecture.

The modular stadium® can be adapted to meet changing requirements and individual customer needs over and over again. The stadium can be installed in virtually no time and removed just as quickly after use.

The NUSSLI service range in stadium construction:
•Stadia and arenas (modular, temporary, permanent, mobile)
•Stadium expansion (modular, temporary, permanent)
•Additional grandstand, roofing
•Steel tube grandstand
•Service buildings

Modular Stadium® – a Convincing System.
Those who modularly build or expand stadiums and arenas enjoy considerable advantages over those using the traditional building method. The key factors of modular stadium construction are savings in cost and time.

Cost advantage: The use of modules can be temporally limited, therefore avoiding costs for possible surplus capacities. The standardization shortens planning and construction processes.

Fast and flexible: modular stadium constructions or expansions by NUSSLI beat any other system in regard to installation speed.

 Temporary Stadiums - Photo 1Temporary Stadiums - Grandstands Temporary Stadiums - Slopings 1 Temporary Stadiums - Slopings 2 Temporary Stadiums - Slopings 3

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