Temporary sports structures have a wide array of uses, but the common theme in each and every case is that they can enable the users to offer facilities that they would not ordinarily be able to do.
In some cases, this can involve putting up temporary stands at sports grounds. Other items of a temporary nature may include marquees, portaloos and temporary structures used for catering and associated exhibitions linked with the event in question.
Not only does this enable the number of facilities available to be increased to meet the needs of those attending an event, but it can also add more capacity for those participating, with temporary dressing rooms, or space to mingle and relax after a day’s action.
Old Trafford and the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground at Chester-le-Street are two primary examples of grounds which have been redeveloped to use temporary structures in recent years. Old Trafford has seen major redevelopment, but has still left one side of the ground largely undeveloped, with just a few rows of permanent seats. This makes it possible to add a large temporary stand, which has already happened in Test matches in the past two years, as well as the Twenty20 match between Lancashire and rivals Yorkshire, the one county game that is sure to get a large crowd.
Durham also uses temporary stands, with these being smaller due to being situated on a grassed area, with less capacity to withstand the weight of the structure than the concrete of Old Trafford.
At both these venues – and others – there will be numerous extra shopping, exhibition, catering and toilet facilities established on a temporary basis. This flexibility means the venues do not have large areas of space and facilities standing idle during lesser matches with low attendances.
Some summer events, such as Wimbledon, are self-contained, with the All-England Club having a large number of courts to meet the needs of matches ranging from low-profile encounters to the biggest clashes between the top players.
However, there are other events, such as the Henley Regatta, where temporary facilities are very important, be they extra seating, marquees or temporary stages, including a floating one which has been used for musical performances.
The British Grand Prix is another event where temporary stands are used and it is a reminder that the quality of such facilities needs to be high.
Some years ago they were criticised heavily by people attending the race in. These and other failings led to a threat by F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone to pull the race until a redevelopment in time for the 2011 Grand Prix that received widespread praise.