• ABC 2012 Preconference Tours Feature Rebuilt New Orleans Facilities

    by Michael Popke October 2012

    Doug Thornton still has the agenda from a meeting he attended seven years ago - Oct. 11, 2005, to be exact. That was the date the senior vice president of SMG, which operates the state-owned, now-named Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans,

  • 2012 Facility of Merit Winner: JELD-WEN Field Renovation

    by Andrew Cohen October 2012

    A 1930s-era downtown stadium that was formerly shared with a Triple-A baseball team, JELD-WEN Field is now a state-of-the-art home for MLS soccer and the Portland Timbers. Stadiums rarely feature the kind of iconic element found here: A dynamic cantilevered steel canopy clad in cedar, which replaces the smaller original roof constructed of wood timbers. The canopy covers most of the new seats in the 19,000-seat stadium, and backs up to a promenade and open concourse with public views to the action inside. It touches the concourse level at only nine points, giving the impression that it floats above the seating area; to minimize the number of supports, the design team sloped the support columns so they could function to resist both gravity loads and lateral loads from wind and earthquakes. Steel plate girders and pipe trusses interconnected by a system of steel tie rods are visible only from above the canopy.

  • 2012 Facility of Merit Winner: BC Place Renovation

    by Andrew Cohen October 2012

    Dubbed a "chameleon" by one judge, Vancouver's BC Place had a complete makeover beginning with an aggressive re-branding of its public spaces and the addition of suites and club seats prior to serving as the site of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. This alone was enough to impress AB's judges, from the addition of vibrant colors throughout concourse portals, restrooms and concessions areas to the "phenomenal" implementation (as one judge exclaimed) of a color-coded signage and wayfinding system.

  • 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.

  • Aluminum Mesh, Polycarbonate Panels Dress Up Stadium Exterior

    by Andrew Cohen September 2012

    Soccer isn't under wraps in Houston these days, but the Dynamo's new home is.

  • 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.