Stadiums

            There is something about stadiums
that has raised a particular interest and curiosity in my journey. This seminar
was my journey and I am afraid it has come to an end. Throughout my journey I was
dealt with five obstacles including this one. The first was a complete failure
and the following two were nothing short of average. I improved with my fourth
obstacle, feeling a little pride and motivation to continue improving. I chose
to talk about stadiums because that is the building or structural form I am most
familiar with. It is a sacred place that allows me to reach my deepest emotions
and makes me feel alive. I too, hope to build something that creates an
experience where people let go of everything on the outside and allow their emotions
to fill the atmosphere in the stadium.

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            The stadiums I have looked at have
been related to football. I believe these are the largest and most complex
stadiums in the sports industry. These large structures create a fan friendly
environment by providing multiple entertainment options. This completely
changes the experience for those attending the game. There are certain stadiums
in the NFL that have structural characteristics that are unlike any other
stadium. These characteristics allow for each stadium to provide a different
and unique experience from the other. This makes each stadium special to its
city and allows for the home team to be comfortable.

            I have already showed interest in
the Atlanta Flacons new stadium and I think it deserves more attention and
appreciation. After doing research on roof structures I recognized that
retractable roofs are the roofs of the future. This roof system is very dynamic
and can retract in different ways. The Falcons stadium resembles the complexity
and possibilities in retractable roofs. If you look closer at the way the roof
retracts you will notice that it reflects the Falcons logo. This logo lies on
the center of the football field and the retractable roof reflects the logo as
it retracts right above it. This is a very peculiar characteristic that only
applies to the Atlanta Falcons stadium. I think this is beautiful because no
one can just copy this design. You have to think of ways of creating your own
ideas and create new possibilities. We can look at the Flacons roof structure
as a symbol of new possibilities in innovation.

            When talking about roof structures we cannot forget the
Dallas Cowboys stadium. After my sophomore year of high school my team flew to
Dallas for a football tournament. This was a fun 7 on 7 event with no pads or
extra gear. The event took place in July at one of the hottest turf stadiums in
Dallas. The SMU stadium, home of the mustangs, felt more like playing in the
sauna, with your nose burning every time you took a deep breath. And if you
were wearing black bottom cleats, forget it, you were done. I bring this up to
point out how roof structures are essential in certain places. The Dallas
Cowboys certainly took note of that as they built what would become the longest
retractable roof in the world. As we visited the stadium and walked on the
field I realized how different of an experience the roof made. The temperature
dropped a good thirty degrees and the turf did not burn our feet. We were no
longer concerned with keeping each other cool, we simply enjoyed the stadium
and I began to see the stadium as much more than a place where we play
football.  

Up north stadiums do not have to take into consideration the
overheating issues that occur in the south. Up north, stadiums must be able to
resist complete opposite conditions in which snow is a major factor. One of the
more iconic stadiums, which also happens to belong to my favorite team the
Green bay Packers, has no roof structure and embraces the freezing conditions
and snow. The stadium takes pride in its openness to nature and all her
conditions. This stadium has held numerous events in which the conditions have
been extremely rough, in most cases freezing. The Packers as an organization
are seen as tough. They embrace the weather and the fans seem to get louder and
louder as the conditions get worse. Tradition is very important there and in
their case I do not believe that they need a roof. Having said that, I think in
this modern day and age every stadium should have a retractable roof as it
provides many opportunities for events to be held in the stadium. Even if you
want your stadium to feel like it is free of any roof system, I believe, we
have the technology to make a roof retract in such a way.

Green Bay is certainly an exception. If you continue going
up northwest of Green Bay you will end up in the territory of rival Minnesota
Vikings. They have temperatures that reach below zero and the conditions there
have been very detrimental to the stadium. In 2010 the Vikings stadium, which
at the time had a cable supported roof structure, was completely destroyed due
to snow. So much snow piled up on the roof that there was nowhere else for it
to go but through the weak fabric of the cable roof. Just recently the Vikings
built a new stadium much more structurally sustainable against the brutal
winter conditions in Minnesota. First and foremost it got rid of the cable roof
system.  A completely new roof is built
for the stadium. This roof is unique to Minnesota. It is slanted and has heated
gutters to keep the snow from piling up on the roof. The snow falls into the
Mississippi River and the snow issue is resolved.

As I mentioned before, I realized in Dallas that the stadium
is more than a place where we play football. As I entered the stadium, it was
impossible to miss the giant 2,100-inch HD screen that extended from one twenty-yard
line to the opposite. This screen is absolutely jaw dropping. It is enormous
and makes you appreciate the complexity of the stadium. With a retractable
roof, the stadium is so technologically advanced that the roof can also support
a 2,100 inch screen which weights 25,000 pounds. Screens, lights and sound
systems have become a major part of creating a better experience in the
stadium.

I think the lights, the sound, and the video screen are
definitely an advantage in any stadium. They certainly add to the experience of
the game or any event. These are very obvious additions and are all present in
every stadium. I am not too concerned with these qualities of stadiums as they
are too predictable. I am fascinated with stadiums that are built to
accommodate their home fans and make the experience unlike any other. Such
qualities are seen at the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium.

Unlike the previous stadiums, which decided to rebuild
completely, the Jaguars decided it would be best to renovate and add new
qualities to the stadium. To create a better experience the Jaguars added a
section on the north end zone, which consisted of cabanas, two pools, and of
course food and beverage services. I understand the cabanas, but the pool is a
bit odd. It is complementary to Jacksonville, so it makes sense that water be
introduced to the stadium in such a fashion.

It seems like there are truly no limits to what we can build
in a stadium. Lets look at the Los Angeles Rams for example. With their move to
Los Angeles they are in very popular area with many possibilities. The team is
expected to have a new stadium open up in 2020. The plans for this complex
include a hotel, a lake, a performance center, and of course a video screen
twice the size of that in Dallas. Ambitious if you ask me, but at the same time
there is no better place than to approach a stadium in this manner than in Los
Angeles.

Stadiums are evolving and are becoming much more dynamic
than ever. They serve many purposes and are an exciting venue when functioning
as it is intended. These structures are massive and each have their own complex
features that make it stand out from the rest. It seems to me that there is
truly no perfect stadium. There is not a stadium that you can build in every
part of the world. It takes a long process with many trial and errors to figure
out what kind of structure works best in different conditions. With that said,
although there is not one perfect structure, I believe that there are many
stadiums that are built in such harmony with the city that it makes the stadium
perfect for that city. That is the point I guess. You don’t want your stadium
to be part of someone else’s tradition. This makes the stadium unique and
important to the fans.  

 

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