In the past I’ve noticed that NFL teams have been building some pretty bland looking stadiums. The new ones though are a different story. No longer do we see these massive concrete structures sitting desolate on some plot of land in the middle of nowhere. The new NFL structures look like fan-friendly spaceships ready to launch a new season They are more like villages with retractable roofs and glass facades. Technology is taken to a different level in these marvelous edifices. They are the new “Cathedrals” of the NFL They are quite remarkable. Let’s take a quick look at 3 of the newest ones.
- US Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings) Opened-2016 Location – Minneapolis, Minnesota Seating capacity – 66,655
- 5 large pivoting glass doors on west side
- 16-foot (working) gjallarhorn hanging from the ceiling
- Set of suites with a cabin-on-the-lake feel
- 5 x 7 foot acrylic portrait of Prince, which hangs over the concourse
- 2 concourses with 360-degree circulation
- 2,000 HD flat screen TV’s
- 2 – 12,650 sq ft Video Boards
- 979 restrooms
- 430 General Concession Point of Sale
2. Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons) Opened-2017 Location – Atlanta, Georgia Seating capacity – 71,000
- Roof has translucent EFTE skin and eight retractable roof petals that open like a camera aperture (in less than eight minutes)
- $1.5 Billion to build
- 24 Bars and Restaurants
- 5 story 360 degree HD video halo board (largest in the world) with 24 cameras and 4K replay ability.
- 673 concessions point of sale
- World’s largest bird sculpture
- 4,000 miles of fiber optic connectivity & 1800 wireless access points
- 200 IP Tv’s displayed across stadium can change the mood of building (with graphics) immediately to fit the occasion.
3. City of Champions Stadium (Los Angeles Rams & Chargers) Opened-2020 Location – Inglewood, California Seating capacity – 70,240 expandable to 100,000for Super Bowls, Final Fours, FIFA World Cups, Summer Olympics and other major events.
Rendering provided by HKS Sports & Entertainment
- An entertainment and shopping complex of more than 120 hectres
- Hotels , shops, theatres, entertainment venues for children, and even residential spaces.
- New headquarters of NFL network
- New technology as charging stations for cars, rain collection, and solar cells located throughout the complex
- Whole complex operates on 85% renewable energy
- Total investment of 2.6 billion dollars
- Natural ventilation system built into design to cool the stadium from natural breezes
- Equipped with free WiFi connection to gigabit speeds
- Plan by LG to install a circular double-sided OLED (converts electricity to light) video board nicknamed, Oculus
- 200 luxury suites – Price? Not yet open to public discussion
- The roof, in the shape of a massive sail, with be constructed of transparent glass allowing natural light into the facility
In my opinion, these projects are quite ambitious. It remains to be seen if these buildings are the wave of the future or just giant disasters. One thing for sure is that they will attract the big events. Can they remain profitable? I guess it depends on the future profitability of the league. Meanwhile, the rest of us will head down to our crusty old stadiums built for only 300 million dollars and without all the “French Pastry”.