Super Bowl shuffle: Stadiums of the future will feature interactive and civic spaces

Now that Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have won Super Bowl 50 in Levi’s Stadium, we wanted to take a moment to consider what the stadium that hosts Super Bowl 100 might look like.  

To say that the differences between Sunday’s Super Bowl and the first Super Bowl played 49 years ago were dramatic is clearly understated.

The 200-foot-by-48-foot 13HD LED video board high above the action was a stark contrast to Super Bowl I’s electronic scoreboard at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The halftime show featuring Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars obviously had a ridiculously higher production value than trumpeter Al Hirt performing with marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling College. And Sunday’s four-hour game was so much longer than the first Super Bowl thanks to countless commercial breaks and instant replays. 

Otherwise, most fans at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. essentially observed the “Big Game” the same way their parents and grandparents might have in 1967: from a static seat.

But that paradigm between a seated spectator and the playing field is shifting. And that shift will only become more dramatic during the course of the next 50 Super Bowls as new innovations begin to challenge the way we spectate sports. So in the afterglow of historic Super Bowl 50, we are exploring what the “fan experience” might look like in the stadiums of the future. Continue Reading ›

Raising a king-sized roof in Queens

As Serena Williams‘ bid for her historic Grand Slam continues at 7 p.m. tonight at the U.S. Open, the super structure of Arthur Ashe Stadium’s new retractable dome will hang overhead. The lightweight-fabric roof won’t be complete until next year, but we wanted to take a moment to share the backstory of the innovative thinking behind this unique construction project.

The largest tennis stadium in the world is sinking into a mound of coal ash decomposing at a rate of about a half an inch per year. So putting a retractable roof on the 23,771-seat structure that can’t support more weight was a particularly gnawing conundrum that kept countless architects up at night.

In fact, the Detroit-based international architecture firm, ROSSETTI, felt compelled to continue working on the riddle of covering Arthur Ashe Stadium even after initially losing the bid for the $150 million dome in 2009. ROSSETTI couldn’t resist the challenge of solving what other firms and four architectural studies couldn’t — even at the risk of taking a loss on a design that wouldn’t see the light of day.

“This is probably the first and only time we have done something like this,” Jon Disbrow, ROSSETTI’s lead architect for the project told us. Continue Reading ›