STADIUMS OF THE
BOULDER Â© 2018
CONTENTS Chapter 1: Early Stadiums.............................................................4 Chapter 2: Past Iconic Stadiums..................................................12 Chapter 3: Multi Purpose (Cookie Cutter)..................................20 Chapter 4: There is No Place like Dome.....................................28 Chapter 5: Classic............................................................................34 Chapter 6: Retractable Roof Stadiums.......................................42 Chapter 7: New Era Stadiums......................................................50
Retractable Roof Stadiums 42
etractable-roof and fixed roof stadiums have varying reasons for needing the option to cover their field and their fans. Minneapolis faces issues with frigid cold and freezing precipitation. Glendale, AZ with the desert heat and humidity. Stadiums like Century Link field in Seattle, Washington and Hard Rock stadium in Miami, Florida have taken the approach of extended roof canopies over the stands because of intense heavy rain in those regions. Retractable roof stadiums has the advantage that it can be opened and closed as needed. This way you can protect the public when it rains and snows outside. However, that does not work
in the case of the Arizona Cardinals who took the unusual approach of having natural grass in a stadium that has retractable roof. But, with having a retractable roof, a majority of sunlight cannot get inside of the stadium. Therefore, this is the reason why venues with retractable roofs have artificial grass The Houston Astros take the credit of the invention and introduction of AstroTurf after they tried and failed on multiple attempts to have a natural grass playing surface in a fully enclosed dome. Engineers even constructed the roof to have small translucent panels but that did not do any justice for the grass that was constantly dying indoors.
CONAN O’ BRIEN PLAYS VIDEO GAMES ON AT&T’S STADIUM’S DIAMONDVISION FLOATING JUMBOTRON FOR CLUELESS GAMER WEB SERIES
Houston tried again with its successor Reliant Stadium now NRG Stadium. At the time it was completed NRG stadium became the first NFL venue to have a retractable roof. The field was comprised of 8-foot square trays, which hold sections of grass that are pieced together for games. These trays are manually removed after Texans games to be properly exposed to sunlight, water, and fertilization. That proved to be labor intensive. The natural grass playing surface became as much of a nuisance to the Houston Texans as were other NFL teams. Even taking the blame for some injuries to players. In 2009, former Texans punter Brett Hartmann sued the very company that operated the stadium in which he played in. On December 4th in a win over the Atlanta Falcons Hartmann tore his anterior cruciate ligament and fractured a bone in his left knee. The same thing happened to former Patriots tight end Wes Welker who tore both his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament three years prior in 2009. Peter Eisenman, the architect of State Farm stadium not only constructed a retractable roof for the cardinals but designed a retractable field that can slide out of the stadium structure itself and allow for sunlight to beam on the natural grass surface.
From Top to Bottom: NRG Stadium interior, State Farm Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Amsterdam Arena (former NFL Europe Amsterdamn Admirals), AT&T Stadium interior.
June 1989 began the era of the retractable roof stadium. The SkyDome in Toronto, Canada was just completed and was going to become the home of the MLB Toronto Blue Jays. An international design competition was launched in 1985. Robbie Young + Wright eventually won the right to design the domed structure, which took two years and costed approximately $570 million ($913 million in today’s dollars). It’s completion was seen a such an historic moment that it was even referenced in commercials for products and items like Oreo cookies. The very first of the retractable roof sports venue built was the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ground breaking started in 1958 but did not open until 1961. Kourosh Kayvani, managing director of design and innovation at Aurecon Australia says “Retractable roofs require clever design because they need to be able to move hundreds of thousands of kilograms of steel, glass, cladding & ceiling material, & mechanical & electrical services in a matter of minutes. Very few retractable roof stadiums are alike, & each one has their own support, traction and control systems that enable the roofing panels to safely and reliably fold back, retract or slide off the top of each other in order to expose the area they cover,”
INTERIOR VIEW OF NRG STADIUM WITH NATURAL GRASS PLAYING SURFACE WITH THE ROOF OPEN DURING THE TEXANS BATTLE RED SUNDAY. From Top to Bottom: NRG Stadium exterior, Mercedes-Benz Stadium interior, Lucas Oil Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior, AT&T Stadium construction.
The retractable roof on top of the Falcons’ new stadium has been one of the biggest construction headaches in the history of professional sports. Putting the roof together has been so complicated that the opening of Mercedez-Benz stadium has been delayed four times. The reason the roof has given the construction crews so much difficulty is because it’s never been done before. When it opens, the one-ofa-kind retractable roof is supposed to look similar to a camera aperture opening. NFL teams with retractable roofs say weather conditions and fan comfort are the driving factors in their open-or-closed choices. The decision can be easy decided on days of heavy rain or extreme temperatures, but controversial in some other conditions, such as days when direct sun makes certain seats uncomfortable. Also, non-meteorological factors are believed to influence the decision at times, such as a team’s desire for louder crowd noise in a closed stadium or a coach’s (or quarterback’s) preference for controlled conditions.
ATLANTA FALCONS’ MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM CAMERA APERTURE ROOF IN CLOSED (TOP) AND OPEN (BOTTOM) STAGES
“The decision to open or close the roof each game is a very difficult one to make … because there are significant differences within the stadium depending upon where you are seated, sun or shade,” the Texans said in a lengthy letter to fans. “… We choose the (roof) position that we feel will provide the best environment for our team to play and our fans to enjoy the game.” The Cardinals have a telephone “hotline” fans can call before leaving home on game days to find out if the roof will be open or closed. The team is more likely to open it late in the season. But despite beautiful weather outdoors on Jan. 3, 2009, the Cardinals closed the roof for a playoff victory over the Falcons, ensuring a louder environment. Retractable roofs are really marvels of modern architecture. They are designed to move panels that weigh millions of pounds in just minutes. By doing so, they give fans a new experience at baseball and football games. Given their popularity, it’s likely we will see many more of these convertible stadiums built in the next decade until they are replaced by the next stadium trend. Whenever and whatever that is.
LADY GAGA HANGS FROM THE ROOF OF NRG STADIUM DURING A HALFTIME PERFORMANCE DURING SUPER BOWL LI
STATE FARM STADIUM WITH THE ROOF OPEN AND THE FIELD ROLLING IN BEFORE SUPER BOWL XLIX IN GLENDALE, ARIZONA.
Your ticket to every stadium in the NFL. From Lambeau field to the SuperDome, Candlestick park to Veterans stadium, Stadiums of the NFL covers almost every sports venue from past to present and future. Stadiums of the NFL not only showcases every venue but documents the history, the planning stages, the construction and the most notible events at every stadium. A book that will entice not only fans of the sport, but also people of a wide variety.
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