Project Team
Initiation and Feasibility


05 min. reading time

The project team will lead the stadium project from initiation towards operations.

At the core of the project team is always the client’s team, who acts on behalf of and prepares the decision-making process for the stadium owner. This team is led by the client project director or client representative. The client representative and his/her team are responsible for warranting that the outcome of the design and construction stages meet the owner’s and users’ requirements as per the business plan and the client requirements document.

Once the decision has been made (during the feasibility stage) to progress with the project, one of the first steps is to establish and start building the stadium project team. The project plan, which describes the way in which the project will be managed in terms of time, money, quality, organisation, information and risk, forms the basis for the project organisation.

The client team is also responsible for selecting and appointing the design team and construction team for the stadium project, on behalf of the owner.

Figure 1.8.1
Relationship between project team members across the project

Figure 1.8.1 shows the relationship between the various teams during the various project phases, as per Section 1.5.

Although contractually these teams are different entities, it goes without saying that an efficient and smooth cooperation between these teams is crucial to the success of the stadium project. After the commissioning of the stadium, the operations team may take over full responsibility of the stadium.


The core of the client team will ideally already be involved in the preparation of the stadium vision, the feasibility study, the business plan and the client requirements document, and many members might stay on board until the completion and commissioning of the stadium.

Project director

The client representative, or project director, will have overall responsibility for the stadium project on behalf of the owner, up to and including commissioning and the organisation of test events. In some cases, the project director may even take on the role of stadium director for the long-term operations of the stadium.

The project director is a crucial role as the person who:

• is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the project is realised within the budget, on time and according to the quality standards agreed by the stadium owner; and

• prepares all decision documents, including recommendations, for the owner’s approval;

• liaises with all stakeholders and manages their expectations.

• establishes performance targets for the various project phases and monitors their execution;

• manages the whole project team and represents the connecting link between the project owner, the design and construction teams as well as the stadium operations team;

It is important that the appointed project director has proven project management experience with complex and large-scale construction projects, preferably in the successful delivery of another stadium project. He or she should possess good communication and management skills and excel in stakeholder, conflict and risk management.

Client project team

The client project team, led by the project director, could consist of the following roles, which – depending on the scale and complexity of the stadium project – could be separate organisational positions or – depending on competences and complexity – combined into one or more positions:

• Business planner:
responsible for drafting the business case and warranting that the principles of the business case will be met throughout the design and construction phases
• Programming consultant:
responsible for drafting the client requirements and warranting compliance with internal and external requirements throughout the design and (early) construction stages through a validation process
• Stadium operations consultant
(in some cases, the operations team will not yet be on board during the early project stages):
the responsibility of the stadium operations consultant will be to warrant that the project will meet all requirements for the efficient and safe operation of the stadium. The stadium operations consultant could be a representative of the stadium users and/or an operator or an external specialist consultant, but in all cases closely liaises with these future users
• Design manager:
responsible for managing the design process on behalf of the owner and acting as the first point of contact for the design team
• Contract manager (or commercial manager):
responsible for procurement and managing the contracts with the design team and the construction team
• Project controls manager:
responsible for maintaining the project time schedule, flagging up potential delays and warranting that the project is delivered on time
• Communications manager:
responsible for communication with all external stakeholders. Important groups include the fans, sponsors, local residents and other people potentially affected by the project as well as the media
• External stakeholders:
which could include, e.g. the local community, concert promoters or broadcast rights holders, all of whom could have valuable input into the project
• Legal adviser:
responsible for all contracts and other legal documents and legal advice

Figure 1.8.2
Involvement of client project team members at different stages of the project

Figure 1.8.2 shows the relevance of the client project team members across the various project phases.

In many cases, the required expertise may not be readily available within the stadium owner’s or the user’s organisation and must be outsourced. It is important that these positions are fully independent from the design and construction teams and, at all times, represent the interests of the project owner and/or future users.

In some cases, the client project team would consult with an architect as part of this process, although not necessarily the same architect who will subsequently lead the design team.



The design team consists of all consultants and specialists responsible for the delivery of the stadium design. The design team is also led by a project manager or lead architect, who has overall responsibility for the delivery and coordination of all design work.

The design team usually consists of the following key design disciplines, or lead consultants:

• Structural engineer

responsible for the design of the primary and secondary structure for the stadium

• Architect

responsible for developing the best possible design for the available budget, as well as producing design documents for tender and construction. The architect is often responsible for leading the design team, where they will coordinate the work being undertaken by all consultants throughout each stage of the design and construction process

• MEP engineer

responsible for the design of the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing services for the stadium

• Masterplanner

responsible for developing an overall masterplan for a project that will include the location of the stadium and the inclusion of other uses around the site. This may include the coordination of the stadium development with other adjoining developments

• Civil engineer

responsible for the design of underground structure and services

• Planning consultant

offers planning advice for a project, including the impact of any local, regional or national planning guidance on the development. This may include limitations on aspects such as height and scale and floor area, along with any issues relating to the heritage or protected status of the local area

In some cases, a single design contract may combine responsibility for all of the aforementioned disciplines. In other cases, each discipline might be contracted separately by the owner (through the client team), with an architect usually being responsible for the coordination and integration of all disciplines. The preferred approach varies from country to country.

Figure 1.8.3
Involvement of design team members across the project

Figure 1.8.3 shows the relevance of the design team members across the various project phases.

The lead consultants are often appointed at the start of the design phase along with the architect, ensuring their involvement as early as the definition phase of the stadium project.

The scale and complexity of the stadium will determine the size of the design team and which additional design consultants and specialists are required. The latter could cover the following disciplines:

• Accessibility – provision of seating and amenities for any spectators with disabilities
• Acoustics – acoustic design, including audibility in the seating bowl and noise breakout from the stadium
• Costing – dealing with any cost issues, including the preparation of cost plans and impact of changes to the project on the overall budget
• Crowd management – movement of people in and around the stadium, including analysis of ingress, half-time and egress scenarios
• Fire engineering – design of life-safety elements relating to fire
• Geotechnical engineering – design of below-ground elements of the project, relating to existing ground conditions
• IT – design of information technology systems (including communications) within the stadium
• Landscape architecture – design of soft and hard landscape around the stadium
• Pitch expertise – design and specification of the pitch, including any installations, plantrooms and MEP services linked to the pitch
• Security – responsible for the design of elements and operations linked to security, including security screening measures
• Sustainability – design to meet the sustainability targets
• Transport and mobility – design any mobility-related infrastructure and operational planning

Projects may also face specific design issues that require the input of a specialist to help the design team to complete their work.

The coordination of all disciplines as well as lead and design consultants plus specialists is an important task. The responsibility for this coordination task should be clearly defined and usually sits with the architect.


The construction team is responsible for the preparation and delivery of the construction works.

In traditional procurement strategies, the design and construction teams are contracted through separate design and construction contracts. In this case, the contractor is appointed after completion of the design stage, and the construction price will be based on the construction drawings, bill of quantities and book of specifications.

In some other procurement contract forms, the design and construction teams are combined within one single design & build contract. This can sometimes include the contract to operate and maintain the stadium. In these cases, the design and construction teams are usually appointed after completion of the conceptual design. The construction price is based on the detailed user requirements document, performance specifications book and aesthetics brief in combination with the concept design.

Refer to Section 3.1 for more details on construction procurement.

The construction team is led by the construction manager and built up as the project progresses. The construction manager is responsible for the coordination of the work of all subcontractors and suppliers.


It is important to involve the operations team as early as possible when developing a new or redeveloping an existing stadium.

This could be the main user, in the case of a stadium being run by a club or a specialist operator. By involving the operations team early on in the process, preferably during the definition phase, most or all operational requirements will be incorporated in the user and design requirements. This approach helps to avoid any expensive changes at a later stage of the design, construction or early operations.

By involving the expertise and experience of an operations team early in the process, the total costs of ownership can be considerably reduced (see also Sub-Section 4.2.5). Another advantage is that the operations team can start developing their organisation before the commissioning and opening of the stadium in order to be fully operational and ready after the commissioning of the stadium.

If the operations team is not yet appointed or does not have the required resources to fully engage with the stadium project, the involvement of specialist stadium operations consultants is recommended.

For the detailed tasks and activities faced by the operations team, refer to Chapter 4.