The who’s who of world sport descended on CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park last week for the inaugural SportNXT summit, bringing together over 50 global thought leaders representing every facet of the sporting world.
The two-day live conference probed the issues and opportunities that will shape the future of sport, with marquee speakers including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, US women’s national soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe and Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
SportNXT event director, Bart Campbell said, “Primely positioned among the best of Australian sporting venues, CENTREPIECE presented itself as the perfect backdrop for a global sport business conference like SportNXT. Our delegates were able to experience the precinct’s unique offering, made even more special by the F1 being in town. Melbourne’s capabilities as a major event host is undeniable, and CENTREPIECE is a fantastic new addition to the city’s event offering.”
The venue’s impressive grand hall hosted 700 guests across two days of expert panel discussions, keynote speeches and valuable networking opportunities.
Melbourne & Olympic Parks CEO, John Harnden AM, participated in a panel discussion on “Visioning the New Live!” moderated by SportNXT Chair Eddie McGuire AM, which explored the future of live events and how the application of technology and creativity can yield a vibrant future for live.
Mr Harnden spoke about the opportunities to use technology as the enhancer, rather than the replacement for live events, and emphasised the holistic guest experience as key to the future of live.
Accompanying the program, CENTREPIECE sustained their guests with a selection of canapes including hand shucked oysters, pork belly buddha bowls, and flame-grilled beef Kibe. As delegates mixed and mingled, reflecting on the future of the industry, Industry Beans coffee carts were on-site to deliver fresh brews.
Between sessions, delegates and attendees had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the display of Melbourne and Olympic Park precinct’s tenants’ trophies, including those from the Australian Open and Melbourne Football Club’s 2022 AFL Premiership Cup.
Guests rounded out each of the two days with drinks on the terrace, complemented with uninterrupted views overlooking Melbourne’s CBD and skyline, fittingly nestled amongst the city’s world-class sporting and entertainment arenas.
The final day of the summit was reserved for curated site visits to selected sports infrastructure in and around Melbourne. Melbourne and Olympic Parks treated delegates to a behind-the-scenes tour of AAMI Park, one of the host venues for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Through a guided tour of the locker rooms and pitch, attendees stepped into the shoes of players, gaining a sneak peek into the planned redevelopment of the stadium and the precinct’s preparations for the marquee global event.
Melbourne and Olympic Parks Director of Commercial, Sam Eustice said, “What a fabulous opportunity it has been to host the sport industry’s most prominent leaders and thinkers here at CENTREPIECE, showcasing our incredible sporting and events precinct in Melbourne Park. Sport and events have clearly been impacted these last couple of years, but the success of SportNXT has us excited to see what the future holds for the industry and CENTREPIECE is proud to play a role in it.”