New and Old: How Stadiums are Changing
With new stadiums being built across the United States, now’s certainly an exciting time to be a sports fan. Over the years, the nature of new stadiums has changed. Some are committed to sustainability and going green, whereas others are aiming to provide an all-around entertainment experience.
A good example of this stadium experience is the proposed Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, a “sports and entertainment district” that first broke ground in November 2016. But LA Stadium will be more than just a home for two NFL teams, San Diego Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams, it will also be the home of an 8.5 million square foot entertainment complex that includes restaurants, shopping, and a cinema.
Moreover, Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium was designed with the goal of being environmentally conscious and promoting better sustainability. This was achieved by installing 4,000 solar power units, adding onsite charging stations for electric cars, and recycling approximately 680,000 gallons of water for irrigation. In fact, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been so effective at going green that it was acknowledged by the White House Office of Science and Technology for using 29% less energy than most other sports stadiums.
Finally, there’s the upcoming Las Vegas Stadium, which is expected to be completed before the start of the 2020 football season. This $2 billion stadium will be the first to house a professional team in Las Vegas. The stadium is also unique because of its pickup and drop-off loop, which was designed specifically to make ridesharing more convenient for drivers and passengers alike.
What about the Old Stadiums?
With the development of new and improved stadiums, cities and building owners have been challenged with coming up with creative ways to repurpose the old ones.
For the Georgia Dome, the Atlanta Falcon’s former home, the decision was to create a green space at the doorstep of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The decommissioned stadium is currently in demolition and scheduled for implosion at the end of November this year, where it will then be converted into “The Home Depot Backyard,” a 13-acre city park designed to revitalize outdoor spaces in Atlanta’s Westside.
While the historic Georgia Dome, which saw the 1996 Summer Olympics and Michael Jordan’s final NBA appearance, will ultimately be destroyed, other stadiums have experienced a different fate. Former Atlanta Braves’ baseball field, Turner Field, is being turned into a football complex for Georgia State University.
For the city of Oakland, finding a new beginning isn’t quite as easy. Once their NFL team, the Raiders, make their 2019 move to Las Vegas, the city will be challenged with finding ways to keep Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum profitable. While the Oakland A’s, which will be the city’s last professional team once the Raiders leave, have committed to playing in the Coliseum until 2024, the city still needs to come up with a plan to keep the venue busy during the offseason. Currently, they’re looking into hosting concerts and other large events.