With a wealth of background in commercial brands and rebrand as well as venue transformations, Mark Kelly joined the Bristol Sport group in late 2013 with accountability for the operational delivery of a live stadium transformation over three seasons.
At a cost of nearly £50m, Ashton Gate Stadium was rebuilt and transformed into a 27,000-seater modern, multi-use, 365-day-a-year venue and of course the proud home of Bristol City FC; Bristol Bears Rugby and the Bristol Sport group HQ. Alongside the operational project, Mark successfully set up an internal catering organisation that has now grown to a pre COVID £6m turnover and one of Bristol’s largest employers as well as an internal FM, housekeeping and real estate management portfolio across the estate.
In 2017, Mark took on the role of Managing Director for Ashton Gate Ltd and Bristol Sport Ltd with a broad accountability for driving commercial revenues across the group as well as driving continued operational innovation.
In late 2018, Ashton Gate announced the next phase of extending the stadium footprint to create a state-of-the-art 4,000-seater Sports & Convention Centre (SCC) and a whole new “Sporting Quarter” for the city of Bristol. During the summer of 2019, Ashton Gate received national plaudits for the delivery of 4 back to back large concerts bringing 120k visitors into Bristol.
In 2019/20, Kelly oversaw the highest group commercial revenues across all internal clubs and record number attendances in both rugby and football.
Since COVID, the stadium has had to really adapt its operation and in doing so has innovated its provision, hosting the NHS testing centre and mass vaccine hub as well as a Christmas series of outdoor pantomimes, comedy gigs and streamed events. It is currently one of the largest vaccine super hubs vaccinating over 10k patients a week and can do so whilst continuing to host sport at the stadium.
* Bristol Sport is a group of companies owned by Stephen Lansdown CBE
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-kelly-27648444/ for more detail
Ashton Gate development: https://scc.ashtongatestadium.co.uk/