Contractor Appointment


02 min. reading time

Planning and arranging for a contractor to carry out the construction works is a vital part of any stadium project. Part of the process for selecting the right contractor is to decide on the process for procuring and building the project. There are three typical routes for appointing a contracting team: Traditional, Design and Build, and Construction Management. Each has its own benefits.



This route relies on the project designers having fully designed every aspect of the building before a contractor is appointed. The benefit of this process is that the client can retain full control over every aspect of designing the building. The downside of this route is that it takes
longer than other methods, and it does not take full advantage of the contractor’s knowledge or expertise.


The design and construction of the project can overlap with this route and so this method can facilitate an earlier start on-site. Early engagement with the contractor will benefit the project because the contractor’s knowledge and expertise will help to find the most advantageous way of building the project. It will also give better certainty of the costs nvolved in building the project and passes the responsibility for delivery and budget onto the contractor.

The contractor’s team will develop the initial design proposals and prepare detailed design information. The designers are often engaged by the contractor for the detailed design stage of the project. The contractor’s role in the design and delivery of the project will mean that the client will not be fully in control of the process and products used by the contractor. Any
changes to the design can prove difficult and expensive under Design and Build contracts. For Design and Build to work best, the project requirements should be set out clearly at an early stage and changes to the design kept to a minimum.

Design and Build is often suited for stadium projects, as these are usually one-off projects that will benefit from the contractor’s expertise, early cost certainty and an early start on-site.


The Construction Management route does not involve the employment of a main contractor. Instead, a construction manager acts as the main contractor and the various elements and trades are employed directly. This route demands significant dedication from the internal project team to ensure the project is properly managed. However, it can result in substantial cost savings, and the internal project team remains in full control of the key decisions relating to how the project is built. A drawback of this route is that there cannot be cost certainty until the latter stages of the construction process.


The appointment of the contractor usually follows a selection process where a number of suitable contractors will tender their expertise, proposed methods, terms and costs. It is important to ensure that each of the contractors under consideration can deliver a project of this type. Evidence of previous experience, financial stability and references will help determine the suitability of the contractors under consideration.

The stadium developer’s invitation to tender should provide sufficient information to describe the project, including the client’s aspirations for it and the programme requirements – so that all of the potential contractors have a clearunderstanding of what is being asked of them. This will ensure that the contractors can provide accurate pricing and construction programmes.

The most desirable tender is not necessarily the cheapest. The tender process needs to establish that the contractor will be able to deliver the project safely, in good time, and that the final product will be fit for its intended use.

The contractors are usually given a set period for reviewing the information, visiting the site, and returning their tender. There should be a process during the tender period to allow contractors to seek clarification and request further information.


Once the tenders have been returned by the contractors, the proposals will need to be reviewed, considered and compared. At the end of this process, there will likely be a preferred contractor. Negotiations with the preferred contractor should clarify any final points of detail before the contract is awarded and unsuccessful contractors are informed accordingly. It is beneficial to keep one of the unsuccessful contractors in reserve in case contract terms cannot be agreed with the preferred contractor.

The signing of the contract sets a binding legal agreement, outlining the scope of work, risks, duties, and legal rights of both the contractor and the client. It will commit the contractor to delivering the project as described and it will commit the client to making the site available and to making payments as the construction proceeds.