Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit in Manchester in December, we caught up with Ritchie Bates, Head of Commercial at Port Vale.
The English League One football club has called its Vale Park stadium home since the venue opened in 1950. Bates joined Vale in November 2019 following a four-year spell as Commercial Director at fellow League One team Lincoln City.
Prior to that, Bates was Commercial Manager at Macclesfield FC.
TheStadiumBusiness: What’s exciting you in the field of stadium design at present?
Ritchie Bates: “I enjoyed the last event where an operations staff member from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was talking about what they are doing to help the environment by putting in certain processes.
“The environment in society is of big concern and clubs can play a part in this. So, certain tech and stadium companies can aid clubs with this.”
TSB: What’s in the pipeline for Port Vale and Vale Park over the next six to 12 months?
RB: “We are looking at digitalising as many processes here at PVFC for efficiency and speed for our fans, customers and staff. We have also erected a 72sqm screen at the club, which we will be looking at getting the most out of to engage with our fanbase.”
TSB: What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?
RB: “Seeing the different fan engagement tools that are on show and, in particular, hearing the various seminars from market leaders.”
TSB: Is there anything in particular you are looking for ideas/inspiration about at the Summit?
RB: “Clubs with similar problems and how they have overcome them.”
Explore the future of stadium design with Ritchie and hundreds of other stadium industry leaders, exclusively at #TDS23 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on December 6-7.