South African Architect says One-Off Event Stadiums Should be Temporary
South African architect Ruben Reddy believes that all sports stadiums built for one off events such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup should be temporary.
Reddy, speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester, told delegates that the structures should be designed so that they can be deconstructed and the materials used to create other civic buildings such as schools and hospitals.
He used his native South Africa as an example, highlighting white elephants such as the Moses Mabhida Stadium (which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is now rarely used) as a prime example. It was built for $450 million and is costing the taxpayer millions in maintenance.
Reddy said that the façade of the GMP designed stadium was already “falling down” despite being just six years old. He also pointed to the fact that the city’s Sharks rugby team could not play there because of “political reasons” as being equally important.
His company, Ruben Reddy Architects, is behind the plan for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, and by using temporary and existing facilities, he said that the cost of hosting the whole event was £57 million, or as he described it, half the transfer fee paid by Manchester United to sign Paul Pogba.
Premier League football clubs are guilty of inefficient practices when it comes to operating stadiums, said Reddy, who queried a comment made by former Arsenal vice-chair David Dein earlier in the day about the league’s stadiums having 98 per cent occupancy throughout the season.
“If you have 60 events in a stadium that still leaves 300 days unoccupied,” he said. “That’s 16 per cent use of your building.”
Reddy also put forward the controversial view that teams in the same city, such as in Manchester, should share a stadium.