HOK’s John Rhodes Discusses Rugby’s Return to the Olympics
HOK’s John Rhodes led a panel discussion on the popularity of rugby Sevens and the implications of rugby’s return to the Olympics.
Participants included English sports broadcaster John Inverdale; Howard Thomas, president of Rugby Europe Commercial and secretary of the Sevens Commission; Paul Morgan, head of communications at Premiership Rugby; and former English rugby union international Simon Halliday. PanStadia & Arena Management covered the conversation and Rhodes’ vision for the future of rugby stadiums.
“Sports broadcaster John Inverdale believes the game could surpass the traditional 15-a-side format in popularity, with the high octane action attracting new fans to the sport.
And John Rhodes, Director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, says that if that does happen, serious consideration should be given as to how best to physically stage Sevens’ events.
Rhodes said that traditionally rugby – for entirely justifiable, sensible reasons – has largely parachuted its teams onto football pitches or built dedicated stadia that are not obviously discernable from football grounds, as he explained:”
“’Now that Sevens is looking like rugby’s latest success, why don’t we start to think about the real-life way it is enjoyed – quite literally – at ground level? The culture of rugby, the game and, therefore, the atmosphere is very different from almost any other sport so shouldn’t the perfect venue reflect that?’”