The football stadium and place making: a case study of Manchester City

by Steve Millington*

This presentation analyses the relationship between football stadia and place. It provides an overview of football related research by IPM members, including Tim Edensor, Dominic Medway and Cathy Parker, work that has primarily focused on Manchester City Football Club.  This encompasses both theoretical and applied research, and draws on both quantitative and qualitative methods, combing participant observation, netnographies, focus groups and latterly “big data analysis” utilising Springboard’s footfall counts from the #BDSU project.

By Bluemoon1989 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26205259

There are three main themes to this research, which considers the relationship between football stadia and place at different scales. First, is the stadium itself, its internal environment and geography and the interactions within the stadium which generate atmosphere.

“an evaluation of the potential of stadia to contribute to the restoration of vitality and viability of town and city centres”

Second is a concern with how stadia are embedded in places, through an analysis of the immediate connections between the site of the stadium, local neighbourhoods and other places, which together constitute a spatial network utilised by supporters as part of their match day routines.

Finally, is a new piece of work involving an evaluation of the potential of stadia to contribute to the restoration of vitality and viability of town and city centres, bringing to light implications for planners, place managers and the owners of stadia.

* This presentation took place during the fourth Sheffield Hallam University Destination Marketing Symposium held on Wednesday 15th February 2017, Charles Street Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University, 14:00 – 17:00: “Destination Marketing – Football and Footfall: the Relationship between Destination Marketing and Football”
For more information follow the link to the event site.