Project Management Wembley

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A. Project Background


Project Description

The aim of the Wembley Stadium project was to build a new 90,000 seat state of art stadium. The new stadium was going to be used for a variety of functions ranging from football and rugby matches to concerts and private events. The stadium was to have a 50-year design life, and be both functional and architecturally significant. In addition, it was essential that the stadium allowed as much daylight and ventilation to reach the pitch as possible. A main goal was to have the build achieve UEFA five-star stadium status. The project was to be funded by a combination of state (National Lottery Fund) and private investment.


Multiplex is a global contractor based
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B. Reasons for Project Failure


The new Wembley stadium was completed in 2007—five years late, £360m over budget, and surrounded by legal disputes. Before we perform our analysis, we would like to highlight some of the facts that lead to failure.


Multiplex argued that Mott MacDonald’s design for the Wembley steel work was not fit for purpose and that the initial designs were not correct, constructible, coordinated and consistent. In other words, although the design looked good, it was very challenging and maybe impossible to replicate to scale.

Scope Changes

The initial scope was to include football, rugby, and athletics in the same stadium. This later became very controversial and resulted in the removal of athletics from the design in 1999, because of the technical and commercial challenges of accommodating three sports within the same stadium. In 2001, the scope was further changed with the removal of a hotel from the project, the expansion of hospitality suites, and considerably changes to the north side of the stadium. These changes took Mott MacDonald an additional 8 months to redesign.


There was no formal bidding process. In addition, it appeared that not all bidders were treated equally. This can be seen when the bidding process was opened back up after the contractors were narrowed down to
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