Whether we would like to admit it or not, the times are changing more rapidly than most of us ever thought possible. As many of us continue to adapt and change course to reflect the demands, needs and wants of both the public and athletic communities, exciting things are happening in our industry on a daily basis.
With new stadiums being erected all over Canada and the United States, these new design trends are not strictly reserved for professional sports. Collegiate, community and private facilities are all being swept into this massive wind of change as well.
With this in mind, here are a few of the biggest trends sweeping the athletic facility industry and how many planners, designers, and fabricators are keeping pace.
The granddaddy of them all. Technology is sweeping our society at an unprecedented pace.
The birth of the computer seems like a small blip on the radar in comparison to the advancements in design technologies and the technology we carry on our person; the smartphone.
When it comes to design, organizations (ours included) are now able to offer real-time simulations and virtual design elements that give all stakeholders involved a truly interactive way of viewing a project from start to finish. As an example, the technology we use allows prospective customers to view their large-scale bleachers in an interactive and 3D space. The technology is so seamless that the detail on how these structures are completed is literally down to the smallest nut and bolt.
Technologies as described above, are transforming the industry and removing barriers that used to exist in many cases, between the design and construction process.
Despite the intimidating size of some of these facilities, there is a trend of green thinking and sustainability that is present in all new stadium and athletic facility design. As large-scale stadiums used to be perched in large plots of land on the edge of city centres, these facilities are now being placed directly in the centre of town.
In addition to green spaces, these facilities are now being interwoven into the urban environments in which they reside. Designers and planners are now taking items such as walkability and access to public transit into consideration when planning both professional and amateur athletic centres.
Bigger is Not Better
Contrary to popular belief, bigger is not always better. With the emergence of HD TV’s and streaming technologies, more spectators are opting to take in events from the comfort of their homes or local watering hole.
Bowl Seating at Richardson Stadium
Additionally, spectators who do attend these athletic events are now demanding a more intimate experience. Bowl seating design has taken hold, giving spectators views they had yet to experience and larger facilities are removing seating to make way for more promenades, night clubs and social areas within the facility.