Construction Process

3.2 Construction Process

02 min. reading time

The construction process marks the physical process of building the stadium. The key stages of the construction process are set out below.


The sheer scale of a stadium project generally implies that multiple construction activities might happen simultaneously. For example, whilst at one end of the site the foundations are still being excavated, elsewhere the building might be out of the ground and starting to take shape.

A typical stadium construction programme. The key stages of the construction process are set out below.




The client will need to officially hand over control of the site to the contractor.




This stage may include the demolition of existing infrastructure and site clearance in preparation for construction works.

The contractor will establish themselves on-site by fencing off the working area, setting up accommodation for offices, and creating a site compound area for materials storage.




The information within the design drawings is transferred to the ground, establishing the building’s extent angle and level.

The centre lines of walls and foundations are marked, allowing excavation to begin.

The excavation process will provide routes for underground services and drainage and create space for forming the foundations that will support the building structure.




The process for building follows a logical order from the foundations upwards. This starts with the installation of a piling system and the pouring of concrete.




The stadium frame, floors and terracing will follow behind the foundations in the next stage of construction. Some elements, such as the tiers of stands, might be brought to the site as prefabricated units.




The next stage of construction will see the cladding and stadium canopy start to be introduced, which will begin to enclose the building and protect it from the elements, as well as revealing more of how it will look when finished.

Once the area enclosed by the terraces is no longer required for storage, assembly and cranes, the area for the field of play can begin to be prepared.




Within the building, the fitting-out of internal walls and doors will be underway.

Building services for ventilation, heating, lighting, water, and communications will be installed below floors and above ceilings.

At this stage, the site will be at its busiest, with multiple trades all working in parallel.




Final finishes will follow and will need protecting from construction activity until the project is handed over from the contractor to the client ahead of opening.

This will involve the installation of furniture, fitting and equipment (FFE). In parallel, external works will be taking place, including landscaping work, where paving and planting will transform the appearance of the site. This is the final stage prior to handover to the client.

Stadium MK
The stadium frame, floors and terracing emerge. Cranes install the roof canopy.

Given the scale and complexity of a stadium build, the contractor will need to ensure the site is well organised so that every aspect runs to schedule with good communication. The contractor will also need to make sure that materials and building components are available to match the availability of labour and that the relevant areas of the site are accessible for works to be carried out. Many components will be brought to the site as prefabricated elements, and this helps with quality control and scheduling.

Towards the end of construction, the contractor will start preparing to hand the building over to the client. Section 4.6 considers the opening and commissioning process from the position of the operator. The client’steam will start to inspect the project to ensure the finished product will meet expectations. The contractor will need to commission the building systems to ensure everything operates as intended.

Once the building is finished to a point where it can be used for its intended purpose, the stadium can be occupied even if the contractor is still present on-site. Section 4.5 considers the testing and certification required before a stadium can be used for staging public events.

Furniture is protected as final construction and decoration works are carried out.


The handover of the construction site from the contractor to the stadium operator happens once the building is complete and should be planned well in advance to ensure it goes smoothly.

As part of the handover package, the contractor will deliver the keys and control fobs for the building together with instructions on how to use and maintain it. Testing and commissioning data for the building’s components and systems will also be provided.

The contractor must also supply as-built drawings, BIM models, and warranties and certificates, as well as copies of statutory approvals and confirmation of compliance
with any associated conditions. The contractor should also provide any necessary licences such as those relating to waste disposal, the storage of fuel and chemicals, and groundwater extraction.

Most construction contracts will include a specified period during which the contractor will be available to rectify and repair any defects identified. Full payment of the contractor is commonly withheld until defects identified during the period are fixed.