Rising from the landscape like the great coliseums of ancient Rome, many stadiums of today and of years past bear resemblance to these large structures designed to house as many spectators as possible with archaic seating configurations.
As the years have gone by, we have seen some of the most iconic stadiums and iconoclastic sports venues fall to the ground as newer, fancier, stronger and more spectator-oriented structures are erected in their place (or somewhere close by). As more and more of these structures become obsolete, there is a growing trend in the stadium and seating industry that is transforming these structures into completely inclusive experiences for those who enter them.
Here are a few of the biggest trends in stadium and seating design today:
Just as your local grocery store is subtly designed in an attempt to get you to spend more money, today’s architects and designers are using a similar mentality for stadiums across North America. In addition to diverting traffic to concession stands, there are other key concourses, displays, and areas that are all in place to enhance the spectator experience. Making it as interactive as possible, many new stadiums are designed to take spectators on a visual and sensory-laden tour the moment they scan their tickets.
Bigger is not always better and it has never been more apparent than now. With the rise of HD televisions and on-demand sports broadcasting, many are opting to watch the game from the comfort of their own homes. This presents a unique challenge to stadium owners and designers as they are tasked with having their fan base more attached to the game than ever. Rather than fill the stadium with additional seating, many designs today feature fewer seats and a closer in-game experience. Design elements such as bowl seating bring spectators closer to the action than ever before.
While there have been leaps and bounds made by ways of accessibility in sports venues and stadiums for those in wheelchairs or living with disabilities, there have been other inclusions made in this field as well. In light of security protocol changes, for example, there is now a heavier presence of police and security staff, all of which are in need of properly designated areas. Additionally, added areas for members of the media, concession staff and maintenance personnel must all be taken into consideration when designing new facilities.