Facility Management


04 min. reading time

This section deals with facility management, including maintenance and cleaning, which are important in order to sustain the stadium asset and meet all relevant safety requirements. There are a number of historical examples of poor maintenance and a lack of appropriate cleaning being contributory factors to catastrophic events that have occurred within football stadiums and at other venues.


The concept of facility management, the various types of maintenance, the use of maintenance plans, funding options, and the concept of total costs of ownership are explained in further detail below.

For more information on pitch maintenance, refer to Sub-Section 2.4.4.


Facility management is the provision and oversight of services that maintain and support the stadium asset and its component parts.

This includes the following services and functions:

• Maintenance, testing and inspection

• Cleaning

• Fire safety: maintenance, inspection and testing of all fire safety equipment (refer to Section 4.5 for more details).

• Security: maintenance of security systems and hardware

• Health, safety and environment (HSE): this includes warranting the occupational health and safety of all staff

• Minor renovations and refurbishments: organising and managing functional, spatial and technical modifications to the stadium

• IT services: managing all audiovisual, telecommunications and computer networks and systems in the stadium

• Business continuity: warranting that in case of a major failure (e.g. a power failure or fire) stadium operations can recover quickly

• Event support services: the provision of technical support and troubleshooting services on a matchday

• Daily operations and helpdesk: the day-to-day running of the stadium building and coordination of all facility management activities. This includes a helpdesk function to coordinate malfunctions, complaints and requests

Cleaning refers to the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, dust, liquids and clutter, from an object or environment. Cleaning is often part of the maintenance procedure of a specific item or piece of equipment. Besides the regular, maintenance-related cleaning, cleaning of the stadium should be done after each match and event. It is recommended to take preventive measures against any pests to avoid unnecessary cleaning and other environmental health issues. This could involve netting to prevent roosting positions or ensuring doors and other entry points are fully sealed. The latter is essential in any areas used to store, prepare or serve food.

Maintenance and cleaning of the stadium are important for the following reasons:

• Business continuity of the stadium: if important installations fail, an event could be delayed or cancelled (e.g. as a result of a floodlight failure)

• Statutory requirements: specific installations, in particular life-safety equipment, must be inspected, tested and certified on a regular basis as part of a licence to operate and open the stadium to the public. One example is the annual certification of fire extinguishers or lifts

• Poor maintenance and cleaning could lead to hazardous situations for staff and spectators. This could vary from loose objects which may fall down, to slippery surfaces as a result of spilling liquids or snow on the terraces

• Maintaining the initial quality of the item throughout its technical lifetime and warranting that the technical lifetime of the item will be achieved

• Costs: although maintenance of a stadium is a large expenditure item, postponement of maintenance could lead to excessive costs in future years

• Customer service: a clean and well-maintained stadium is a crucial part of the stadium’s customer service and the fan experience

• Hygiene: regular and effective cleaning can reduce the spread of germs

• Stadium presentation and brand image: a clean and well-maintained stadium presents a good image of the stadium, its users and football in general. This is especially important if matches or other events are broadcast from the stadium

• Any food debris left after matches can attract pests such as rodents, insects and birds


Maintenance has evolved over the years, with the aim of optimising both maintenance costs and reliability (or uptime) of installations. The various key types of maintenance are shown in Figure 4.2.1.

Figure 4.2.1
Maintenance maturity pyramid

The most basic form of maintenance is reactive maintenance. This is sometimes referred to as run to failure or simply waiting until something breaks down and then fixing it. For stadiums, this is not an appropriate strategy as it cannot be predicted when the item will fail. In case of a crucial item, this may result in the postponement or cancellation of a match or a reduced fan experience.

Preventive or planned maintenance means that maintenance is executed at a fixed time or usage interval, as per the instructions of the supplier. For instance, a yearly inspection of the roof or servicing the standby generators after a number of operating hours.

The next level of maintenance is condition-based maintenance. In this case, the condition of an item is constantly monitored or checked on a regular basis. When the condition of the item is expected to fall below a certain pre-defined, acceptable level, maintenance will be executed.

Figure 4.2.2 shows the relationship between maintenance costs and the number of failure events for reactive, preventive and condition-based maintenance.

Figure 4.2.2
Relationship between maintenance costs and number of failure events

Condition-based maintenance is considered the best solution in order to minimise the number of failures and associated maintenance costs.

In addition, daily maintenance, also called user maintenance, is required. This involves the execution of small and simple maintenance and repair activities such as changing light bulbs or repairing a broken stadium seat.


The most common types of maintenance applied in stadiums are preventive and condition-based maintenance.

Whereas preventive or planned maintenance is executed at regular times or use intervals, condition-based maintenance is executed only when maintenance is really needed after a decrease in the condition of the item has been observed. This reduces the costs of maintenance.

Measuring the condition of the asset can be done by visual inspections, tests and/or performance data.

A commonly applied procedure for condition-based maintenance is to annually inspect the stadium asset and all of its elements, to measure and categorise their condition as per Figure 4.2.3, and to compare the outcome against the pre-defined targeted condition (1-3).

Figure 4.2.3
Overview of maintenance conditions

Any score worse than condition 3 is deemed unacceptable and requires attention. Whilst measuring the condition of each element of the stadium asset, the impact of the risk of a poor condition is also assessed as per the following risk categories:

• Health, safety and environment

• Statutory requirements

• Use and business processes

• Consequential technical damage

• Increasing user complaints

• Experience and aesthetics

The combination of the condition measurement and risk assessment sets the priorities for the implementation of the maintenance plan.


Annual maintenance costs may vary significantly from year to year, especially where specific elements or installations of the stadium need replacing at the end of their technical lifetime. The replacement of such items as stadium seats, life-safety systems, air-handling units or vertical transport systems require substantial investment. The regular maintenance cycles of the various building elements and installations can also vary.

It is therefore required to prepare a long-term maintenance plan (which includes replacements). The long-term maintenance plan is not only a tool to plan the physical execution of maintenance and replacements but also a tool for budgeting purposes.

To avoid peak expenses in certain years which can have a disproportionate impact on the stadium’s overall operating budget, in many cases a maintenance sinking fund is applied. A sinking fund is a financial tool in which an allowance is set aside to fund future maintenance and replacements.

The use and application of a sinking fund should always be in line with local accounting and fiscal regulations.

The long-term maintenance planning requires updating at the start of each year or budgetary cycle, based on the input from the asset condition measurement, asset failure/reliability and user complaints. An annual maintenance plan for the implementation of all maintenance and replacement activities in the upcoming year should be submitted for approval by management.

Figure 4.2.4
Example of a maintenance sinking fund


Taking into account all project phases and the overall lifetime of a stadium, facility managementc osts, and in particular maintenance and cleaning, make up the bulk of all lifecycle costs of a stadium.

Therefore, it is important to consider costs for maintenance and cleaning of the stadium as early as possible in the development process by analysing the total costs of ownership of the stadium.

An analysis of the total costs of ownership (TCO) includes the total cost of capital expenditure (capex) and operating expenditure (opex) of the stadium, including costs related to replacement or upgrades throughout the lifecycle.

The TCO should be considered from the early stages of the project. Although these may lead to higher capital expenditure, the overall TCO can be reduced.

Figure 4.2.5
Indicative lifecycle costs

Typical operating expenditures which are influenced by design decisions include:

• Energy costs due to energy-efficient installations, better insulation (see Sub-Section 2.7.1)

• Replacement (or recapitalisation) costs by applying elements or installations with a
longer technical lifetime such as LED lighting

• Maintenance costs due to easier or less maintenance required, reduced downtime or performance and/or less testing required

• Cleaning costs by using materials which are easier to clean, more accessible or which require less cleaning such as tip-up stadium seats

• Staffing costs due to fewer staff required to operate (or maintain)

• Insurance costs by applying safer installations and materials

• Security costs by making the stadium secure by design, which should reduce security guarding costs as well as any costs of replacement/recovery (see Sub-Section 1.3.8).

Therefore, any opportunities that reduce the need for maintenance and cleaning should be identified as early as possible in order to maximise the cumulative cost savings and minimise the TCO.

Figure 4.2.6
Potential cost savings versus required cost savings


Waste management can be a considerable task in a football stadium. During an event, thousands of spectators gather, eat and drink, and they can produce tons of waste. This requires decentral collection and temporary storage of waste during the event, and collection and processing of waste at a central location after the event.

Understanding the local context regarding waste management and recycling is key to the development of the stadium’s waste strategy. The aim of an integrated operational waste strategy is to minimise the waste produced and to divert as much waste as possible from landfill. The disposal of waste to landfill not only presents environmental concerns but is also an unnecessary waste of resources that could be reused or recycled, reducing the need for raw materials and energy.

The principles that should be considered for waste are:

• Stadium projects should minimise waste through design efficiency and construction waste management

• The treatment of stadium waste should be based on a hierarchical system, where waste avoidance is preferable and disposal to landfill is avoided Eliminate > Reduce > Reuse > Recycle > Compost Recover (energy) > Dispose

• Stadiums should manage waste in accordance with the relevant national legislation and look to international best practice with an aspiration for stadium projects to set new local benchmarks

• Stadiums should develop a clearer understanding of the waste streams generated by their operations and how these can be incorporated at local, precinct and city level

• Stadiums should integrate organic waste collection with composting for the landscaped areas in and around the masterplan

Recycling centre with a waste compactor

Waste segregation during operation should be a cornerstone of an efficient waste management system. Matchday waste is typically generated through the disposal of used food and beverage containers, disposable cutlery, partially consumed and oversupplied food, unwanted printed and promotional material, and merchandise.


There can be a range of barriers to segregating organic waste in front-of-house areas. Therefore, organic waste management should consider the collection, storage and treatment of organic waste materials off-site.


The approach to recycling will be driven by local statutory requirements and the aspirations of the stadium development team. The majority of recyclable materials (paper and cardboard, plastic and metal) generated during a matchday should be segregated.


There are a number of waste streams that are non-recyclable, such as packaging contaminated by food waste, as well as certain packaging materials, nappies and sweepings.

Certain waste streams should be segregated and managed separately to the primary waste streams. This includes hazardous waste streams such as sanitary and healthcare waste, spent batteries, and waste electrical equipment.