Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit in Manchester in December, we caught up with Hannah Buckley, Senior Facilities and Project Manager (Women’s Professional Game) at The Football Association.
Buckley has served in this role since October 2018, having rejoined the FA after a one-year stint as Senior Parklife Projects Manager at the Football Foundation. Buckley first joined the FA in November 2009, initially as Regional Facilities and Investment Manager before becoming Parklife Projects Manager.
The 2023-24 FA Women’s Super League (WSL) season kicked off on Sunday with Arsenal setting a new competition attendance record for the second year in a row, with a crowd of 54,115 watching a 1-0 loss to Liverpool at Emirates Stadium. The figure topped last season’s mark of 47,367, which was set by the club at Emirates Stadium against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
TheStadiumBusiness: What’s exciting you in the field of stadium design at present?
Hannah Buckley: “Understanding the female athlete needs and identifying what the future audience profile needs and wants to enhance their fan experience. Addressing the net zero challenge and seeking to understand future technology demands in-bowl is also key.”
TSB: What’s in the pipeline for the FA, in terms of facilities and projects for the women’s game, over the next six to 12 months?
HB: “The Women’s Super League is currently shaping a new facility strategy, seeking to determine how the optimum stadia infrastructure will complement existing club facilities as well as understanding future league ambitions.”
TSB: What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?
HB: “Connecting and collaborating with the industry, as well as reviewing all of the submissions to the Awards.”
TSB: Is there anything in particular you are looking for ideas/inspiration about at the Summit?
HB: “How the industry is responding the growing demands of female sport and the climate crisis.”
Explore the future of stadium design with Hannah and hundreds of other stadium industry leaders, exclusively at #TDS23 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on December 6-7.