Vd Lotta Nibell: "Scandinavium ska fortsätta att leverera"
Scandinavium will close in May 2017. Throughout the spring, summer and early autumn, intensive work will be carried out to modernise the classic arena which opened in 1971. The work will be finished in time for the autumn season.
“The renovation will transform Scandinavium into an attractive and modern arena for another 10–15,” says Lotta Nibell, CEO Got Events.
The refurbishment of Scandinavium has been hotly debated in Gothenburg recently. Many feel that Gothenburg should have a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose stadium like Stockholm and some other northern European cities, in order to ensure Gothenburg’s future competitiveness as an event destination.
There continue to be many questions regarding Gothenburg’s existing arena facilities. We asked Lotta Nibell, CEO of Got Events, to comment on the debate and explain why over SEK 100 million are currently being invested in Scandinavium.
Lotta Nibell, CEO of Got Event, the City of Gothenburg’s events and sports venue operator.
Why invest in upgrading the old Scandinavium area?
“The arena is being renovated to meet the increasing demands made by today’s audiences and events organisers.”
But why renovate Scandinavium when the possibility of a new multi-purpose arena is being discussed?
“Regardless of the outcome of the discussions, there is a time factor to consider before a new arena would be ready to open. While awaiting a future decision, continuous upgrades are necessary to meet market demands and the owner’s objectives, and to keep operations running smoothly. In short, Scandinavium must continue being an attractive arena until any future arena is up and running.”
What is the cost of the renovation?
“The total cost of the entire renovation (Phases 1 and 2) is roughly SEK 100 million, including both internal and external operations.”
Will the results really be good enough to ensure that Gothenburg remains competitive and continues attracting top artists and events in future?
“We believe this investment will keep us attractive and result in a relatively modern facility. Certain artists might choose other venues due to factors such as audience capacity or the characteristics of their show, but that’s already the case today and is something we have to live with.”
But isn’t this just a stopgap solution?
“It’s a very good solution considering the circumstances. We’ll get a relatively modern arena, which we believe will keep Scandinavium competitive.”
How long will the arena remain in place?
“The renovation will keep Scandinavium attractive and competitive for at least another 15 years. We don’t expect other major investments to be needed during that period. What happens after that remains to be seen. Further upgrades will probably be needed to further extend the arena’s lifespan.”
Does the renovation mean there won’t be a new multi-purpose arena?
“These are two separate issues which are determined by political decisions. Whatever is ultimately decided, it will take a long time for a political decision to be reached and for a possible new arena to be completed. Meanwhile Gothenburg needs an attractive arena, which is what the renovation will give us.”
What is being renovated?
“Above all, the renovation will result in a better restaurant, better areas for visitors, improved accessibility and increased spectator capacity on the arena floor. The new restaurant will seat 400 guests and hold a maximum of 700 people. The entrance will be given a thorough and much-needed upgrade, as will the area outside Scandinavium.”
Hasn’t the roof come under discussion?
“That’s true, both with respect to load-bearing capacity and rigging height. With the help of creative design solutions, a load-bearing capacity of up to 100 tonnes can be achieved depending on the stage design. Raising the roof would require enormous investment, and considering the age of the arena, also in terms of technology and logistics, we decided against raising the roof at this stage.”
How do you know what is marketable?
“We have studied other comparable venues and talked to organisers, other stakeholders and internal experts at Got Event, and we have long experience as event operators. We believe this is an excellent solution that will benefit Scandinavium, visitors and organisers in the coming years.”
When will it be ready?
“Scandinavium will be ready in time for Frölunda’s first home match of the 2017–2018 season. The new restaurant and kitchen development will open slightly later.”
Further reading: Modernisation of the classic Scandinavium arena