Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit in Manchester in December, we caught up with Zac Halliday, Head of Facilities & Development at The Kia Oval – Surrey County Cricket Club.
Halliday took up the position in March after four years with Artelia UK, latterly as Technical Director. Prior to joining Artelia in April 2019, he worked for nearly four years at CHP Projects in Brisbane, Australia, with his final posting being as a Senior Project Manager.
Halliday’s first summer with Surrey and The Kia Oval was a record-breaking one, which included the club’s hosting of an Ashes Test. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) reported new attendance landmarks for this summer’s men’s and women’s Ashes series, which were promoted side-by-side for the first time.
The release of the figures followed the conclusion of the 2023 men’s Ashes campaign at The Kia Oval on July 31, as England secured a 49-run win over Australia, completing a comeback from 2-0 down to level the Test series, albeit with the tourists retaining the famous urn.
TheStadiumBusiness: What’s exciting you in the field of stadium design at present?
Zac Halliday: “As sport and events continue to attract larger more engaged crowds, so the fabric of stadia must also innovate and adapt to meet this need. This press towards innovation has led to the questioning of traditional design and how venues can become more flexible and adaptive.”
TSB: What’s in the pipeline for Surrey and the Kia Oval over the next six to 12 months?
ZH: “After a record breaking 2023 season which included continued growth in cricket viewership and matchday attendance, we are looking at how to optimise the venue to continue to satisfy this into 2024 whilst strategically positioning the club’s major projects through to the next Ashes cycle.”
TSB: What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?
ZH: “With our own set of objectives and targets, the Summit will be a great litmus test for how ambitious these are in comparison to what is happening at the forefront of design and development in the stadia industry.”
TSB: Is there anything you are looking for ideas/inspiration about at the Summit?
ZH: “How the industry is looking at partnerships and supply chain relationships to assist them in the delivery, fast tracking the route to a sustainable stadia future.”
Explore the future of stadium design with Zac and hundreds of other stadium industry leaders, exclusively at #TDS23 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on December 6-7.