The Business Year



Jayne E. McGivern

CEO, Sports Boulevard Foundation


Jayne E. McGivern is one of the world’s leading construction executives with more than 35 years of experience in infrastructure and urban redevelopment megaprojects management. She has managed various world-renowned projects, including the redevelopment of the Millennium Dome, The O2 Arena, and the new Wembley Stadium in London. McGivern was the president of development and construction at the global entertainment business, Madison Square Garden Company, where she oversaw the construction and delivery of the MSG Spheres. She was also on the Board of Directors of Skanska AB, The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), and Crossrail.

"The Sports Boulevard is an innovative and sustainable urban regeneration project that will connect the city, enable sports adaptation, and improve the quality of life for residents in alignment with the goals of Vision 2030."
TBY talks to Jayne E. McGivern, CEO of Sports Boulevard Foundation, about Riyadh, sustainability, and healthy lifestyles.
Can you provide an overview of the Sports Boulevard Foundation?

The Sports Boulevard is one of Riyadh’s mega projects launched by His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in March 2019. Supported by HRH Prince Mohamed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the project extends more than 135km on Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Road connecting Wadi Hanifah in the west with Wadi Al Sulai in the east through a grid of safe green pathways for pedestrians, cyclists, athletes, and horse-riders. The project includes 4.4 million sqm of greenery and open spaces, more than 50 multidisciplinary sports facilities, and over 20 artistic landmarks, in addition to several activity and investment zones with an area exceeding 2.3 million sqm.

What is the mission and vision of the Sports Boulevard Foundation, and how do you see it contributing to the elevation of the quality of life of the communities living in Riyadh?

The Sports Boulevard is an innovative and sustainable urban regeneration project that will connect the city, enable sports adaptation, and improve the quality of life for residents in alignment with the goals of Vision 2030. Our mission is to create a sports and wellness ecosystem that inspires Riyadh’s residents and visitors to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle, no matter one’s age, gender, nationality, or residence status. The Sports Boulevard will provide more than 50 multidisciplinary sports facilities and link many different communities with 25 per cent of Riyadh being within a 15-minute walk of the park. By providing world-leading facilities, we can champion a legacy for grassroots sports in Riyadh, offer destinations for international sporting events, and attract investment from around the world. As well as offering world-leading sports facilities, the Sports Boulevard will also create a positive impact across every part of society in Riyadh, including driving wider economic activity in the city – creating jobs and stimulating activity for Riyadh’s businesses.

What emphasis is the Sports Boulevard Foundation placing on the concept of sustainability?

The Sports Boulevard will enable a sustainable future where a healthy lifestyle, supported by sporting choices and opportunities will combine with green living through state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities to dramatically improve the lives of Riyadh’s residents. The Sports Boulevard is a big project, and sustainability is at the forefront of it — from the way we design and build, the materials we use, and the way that we will operate. Our ambition is to reuse as much of our construction waste onsite as possible. The green concrete that we use takes up 35 per cent less carbon in the manufacturing process than regular concrete. We have also been experimenting with nanotechnologies and using the correct materials to deflect heat rather than raise urban temperatures. The Sports Boulevard will intersect with four metro stations, and, as we are developing a completely car-free park, will have underground parking as well as other curbside parking. The total area of the project will encompass 2.3 million sqm, and we are developing all the infrastructure as we progress, with some 28km of district cooling which is extremely environmentally friendly. It is cheaper to run, produces less carbon, and is much more efficient. This aligns with our efforts for the well-being of the people of Riyadh and the quality-of-life program. We are not just delivering a project; we are delivering a sustainability and carbon reduction program in Riyadh.

Can you provide examples of outreach events, initiatives, or facilities that will effectively promote and educate the communities about sports and healthy lifestyles?

The Sports Boulevard will provide residents with 220km of cycling tracks, 134km of horse-riding trails and more than 135km of pedestrian walkways. The project will span eight different districts and deliver iconic destinations and architectural highlights for Riyadh – such as the Arts District, the Amphitheatre, and the Global Sports Tower. We hope that in time this will become a blueprint for other cities in Saudi Arabia and indeed the rest of the world. We are making significant construction progress, including working on the development of several of the different districts, including the Wadi Hanifah District, King Abdulaziz Road Underpass, Prince Turki Alawwal Underpass, Promenade, Wadi Al Yasen and the Sands Sports Park. The first publicly accessible elements – the Cycling Bridge and Promenade – will be completed in Q1, 2024. As part of the project’s primary focus of championing sports for all ages and abilities in Riyadh, we are proud to have worked with various partners who are leaders in their field within the region. This includes groups such as the Ministry of Sport, Ministry of Health, Riyadh Municipality, the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, The Saudi Cycling Federation, and the Sports for All Federation to name a few. As the project continues to develop at pace, we are excited to expand our partnerships even further, and to continue to work with a wide range of interest groups to help promote sports and wellbeing across the board.



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