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Number of people stadium holds for sporting events


50,000


Number of people the arena holds for concerts


65,000


Number of kiosks in general area of the stadium


36 I


t was the biggest project in the Nordic


countries. There was no know- how available, so we had to start from scratch.” That’s how Peter Hultqvist FCSI describes Friends Arena in Solna, north of Stockholm, Sweden. Named after Friends, an anti-bullying organisation, the arena seats up to 65,000 people for concerts and 50,000 for sporting events. It is home to the Swedish men’s national football team and the AIK football team and is designed to handle all types of events from sports matches and concerts to galas, business meetings, conferences and trade shows. Its retractable roof ensures that events can be arranged all year round, regardless of the weather. Hultqvist, who runs


Hultqvist travelled to Germany, the UK and the US studying arenas to get ideas and to see how they handled feeding huge volumes of people in a short space of time


Galepo Restaurant Consulting with his wife Eva, spent four years on the project, planning all the foodservice outlets. Flexibility is the key to Friends Arena foodservice outlets and the challenge for Hultqvist. “It’s more diffi cult to build something if it needs to be multi-purpose,” he says. “One day it’s a football match, then speedway, then a pop concert and each one has different requirements.” Hultqvist started


researching the project in 2008. “We had to work out what food we were going to sell and how the customer would approach the outlet.” He travelled to Germany, the UK and the US studying arenas to get ideas and to see how they handled feeding


FRIENDS ARENA B 285


Number of point of sale outlets in the stadium


huge volumes of people in a short space of time. Hultqvist’s discovered that according to Fifa regulations, there must be one point of sale outlet for every 250 visitors during a soccer match. Out of those, up to 40% would make a purchase. “So we had to time how long a purchase takes and how quickly the queue moves,” he says. This is crucial when there is a soccer match, as there’s only a 15 minute break. Hultqvist’s solution for the


Friends Arena was to have as many kiosks as possible. For the general area, there are 36 kiosks on three levels, serving a range of fast food including hot dogs, burgers and wraps. Each kiosk has several point of sale outlets. During a soccer match there are 285 point of sale outlets for 50,000 visitors, which more than meets Fifa regulations. “The idea is to minimise waiting time and queues,” he says. “We came up with the ideas and concepts for the Arena and then worked with other contractors including IT consultants, kitchen designers and construction workers.” In addition there are four restaurants for VIP corporate hospitality packages. The main issue here was the kitchen, as it needed to be fl exible so on one day it could serve a buffet and on another, fi ne dining. “We drew up plans for a full production kitchen, but we didn’t do the actual drawings,” he says. “We planned all that would be necessary to provide this kind of fl exibility.


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