• FIFA Program Certifies Synthetic Turf Performance

    by Paul Steinbach September 2012

    This month, a small fraternity of field inspectors will gather in Paris for an annual brush-up on the latest techniques in testing synthetic turf. The goal is to establish consistency among the entities entrusted by FIFA to conduct lab and field tests on synthetic turf product and the finished pitches that seek the world soccer governing body's stamp of approval. Using highly specialized instrumentation, FIFA-endorsed labs test everything from a fiber's melting point to a finished field's interaction with players' feet.

  • New High School Turf Dubbed 'The Black Hole'

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor September 2012

    In the past five years, we've seen blue turf and red turf installed at high school stadiums - and don't forget about the new candy cane turf at the University of Lindenwood-Belleville. Now, West Salem (Ore.) High School has added to the rainbow of turf colors with what is thought to be the only outdoor black football field in the country - although the Indoor Football League's Nebraska Danger plays on a black field, too. And, following the West Salem field's Friday night debut, it reportedly already has a nickname: "The Black Hole."

  • How Stadium Construction Costs Reached the Billions

    by Andrew Cohen July 2012

    In some circles, outrage accompanied the 2001 opening of Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers' new home. The state senator who cast the deciding vote in favor of a sales-tax increase to pay the public's $290 million portion of the construction cost had been recalled in a public referendum, and three workers had died after a crane collapsed, delaying the stadium's scheduled opening by a year. The stadium's fan-shaped retractable roof proved problematic, necessitating a $13 million fix paid for by a settlement reached between the Miller Park Stadium District and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of America, averting further litigation. That one signature element was a prime culprit in the stadium's ultimate $400 million construction cost, at the time the second-highest price tag for a new professional baseball stadium.

  • TIME Magazine Names 10 Worst Sports Venues in the U.S.

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor May 2012

    With the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in the news - the Minnesota House and Senate passed a $975 million plan for a new fixed-roof stadium Thursday, which now awaits Gov. Mark Dayton's signature - TIME magazine on Wednesday posted its list of the country's 10 worst venues in all of professional sports. The list is bound to rile fans (especially those in California, a state whose facilities hold down four of the 10 spots). No big surprise that the Metrodome tops the list.

  • Marlins Park is Way Cool, In At Least One Respect

    by Paul Steinbach April 2012

    Major League Baseball's Marlins have a new name (Miami, not Florida), a new look and new cheerleaders. The team went out and acquired new talent in the off-season. But all that pales in comparison to its new home, Marlins Park, which has seen more scrutiny than all of the above in the long lead-up to its official debut tonight, when Miami hosts the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals.

  • Building Sponsors into the Design of Spectator Facilities

    by Andrew Cohen March 2012

    Few professional venues have enjoyed as smooth and quick a route to success as MetLife Stadium.

  • New Projects: University of Washington; Ithaca College; FAU

    by Emily Attwood December 2011

    The University of Washington's Husky Stadium will have a new look for the 2013 football season.

  • Universities Make Mark With Basketball Court Aesthetics

    by Michael Popke October 2011

    After a 12-year absence, the California State University Bakersfield men's basketball team returns to the on-campus Icardo Center this month for its home opener against Pepperdine.

  • New Projects: Lambeau Field; University of Alaska-Anchorage; University of California-Berkeley

    by Emily Attwood October 2011

    A week before their first regular-season game, the Green Bay Packers broke ground on a 6,600-seat expansion of Lambeau Field.

  • 2011 Facility of Merit Winner: MetLife Stadium

    by Andrew Cohen October 2011

    Designers of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., faced a complex challenge in creating a facility that serves two masters and needs to fully change, potentially in a matter of hours, to an exciting fan atmosphere for followers of the Jets and Giants. AB's panel of judges decided that the design team succeeded ably, with one judge remarking that the ambitious project both provides the needed flexibility and "presents a bold and dynamic expression" that nonetheless utilizes an exterior skin of aluminum louvers that "transform a large and complex facility into a light and contemporary form."