With a wealth of background in hotel and venue transformations and rebrands, Mark Kelly joined the Bristol Sport group in late 2013 with accountability for the operational delivery of a live stadium transformation over three seasons, reporting to Ashton Gate Chairman Martin Griffiths. 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 the proud home of Bristol City FC, Bristol Bears Rugby and the Bristol Sport group HQ. Alongside this operational project, Mark successfully set up an internal catering organisation that has now grown to a £6m turnover, and one of Bristol’s largest employers.
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 4000-seater Sports & Convention Centre (SCC) and a whole new ‘Sporting Quarter’ for 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.