Sports properties to triple says PWC

A study released today by Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) has reported that hotels attached to UK sports stadia now account for some 1,314 rooms – a number set to triple in the next nine years. According to the research, the number of sports-based rooms has been growing at a rate of 13% per year since 1998 and now covers 11 properties. “We have seen significant growth in the past decade, but the greatest opportunity is yet to come as penetration levels remain low and more sporting venues announce plans to redevelop their venues,” said PWC sports and leisure leader Julie Clark. “Currently only around 8% of football stadia and 16% of racecourse venues have hotels attached, so the scope for growth is enormous.” Clark however warned that these ventures are not without risk: “Merely opening a hotel at a sporting venue will not automatically guarantee additional revenues. Location is paramount and the hotel needs strong demand base to ensure a viable business model.” Existing hotels and planned developments highlighted in the report include: Football: • Currently eight hotels in seven venues accounting for 990 rooms. • A further twelve hotels and 1412 rooms are in the development pipeline. Racecourses: • Wolverhampton Racecourse is currently the only course to have a hotel attached, 116 rooms. • Nine hotels and about 1089 rooms are in the development pipeline including a 120-room hotel at Doncaster Racecourse due to open in 2008. Cricket: • Old Trafford is the only venue to currently have a hotel attached. • In the development pipeline there is likely to be a further four hotels accounting for 575 rooms to be built at St Lawrence Ground, the Rose Bowl in Southampton and the Brit Oval and Lords in London. Rugby: • Madejeski Stadium, home to Reading FC and London Irish Rugby Union Club accounts for the only rugby venue hotel. • Two hotels and about 356 rooms are planned – the 156 room Marriott Hotel at Twickenham and an integrated 200 room hotel at Salford City Reds proposed new stadium. Motor Racing: • Brands Hatch developed a 140-room property located on the Grand Prix parkland in 1988. The track is proposed to be developed by the owner’s of Silverstone but no details are available.

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