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Sports Management Review of 2016: The best stadiums of the year

By Kim Megson    22 Dec 2016
The Rio Handball Arena by Oficina de Arquitetos and Lopes, Santos & Ferreira Gomes and AndArchitects

As the imperative around fan engagement for sports teams grows, a number of modern, innovative – and in the case of the Minnesota Viking's Ban Stadium – expensive stadiums were completed in 2016. Sports Management runs though a list of some of the more notable structures.

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous and AIA Associés

“Stadium1"

The 59,186-capacity stadium – known during construction as the Grand Stade de Lyon or Stade des Lumières – opened at the beginning of the year, and hosted matches at the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship. The most significant architectural feature is the 53,700sq m (570,000sq ft), roof – one of the largest for a sports stadium in the world – which is designed to echo the local forest canopy and extends over an external podium. A new area of public space has been created below, hosting pop-up events and an integrated bus and tram terminal linking the stadium with the city.

US Bank Stadium by HKS Architects

“Stadium1"

This 70,000-capacity stadium cost a cool US$1.1bn to build. The 1.75m sq ft (162,600sq m) structure – home to NFL franchise the Minnesota Vikings – features a fixed-roof design with the largest span of transparent ETFE material in the country, five vast glass pivoting doors, and the closest seats to the field in the league. Other features include two concourses with 360-degree circulation, 2,000 HD flat screen TVs to replay the action from the field and giant stylised Legacy Ship also stands outside the ground.

Golden 1 Center by AECOM

“Stadium1"

The new California home of US National Basketball Association franchise the Sacramento Kings has become the first indoor sports venue to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The US$507m (£336m, €476m) stadium has been described as one of the most sustainable ever built and is hailed by its designers as “the arena of the future.” The facility completely runs on solar power and uses 45 per cent less water and 30 per cent less energy than demanded by California regulation. It also features giant aircraft-hangar doors that can open to the cooling breeze and a public plaza with water-saving gardens.

T-Mobile Las Vegas Arena by Populous

“Stadium1"

Global sports architects Populous make our list again for this 20,000-capacity indoor multipurpose arena, for which their goal was to “out-Vegas Las Vegas.” The US$375m venue, which opened in April, is the region's largest indoor sports and entertainment venue and has been earmarked as the possible future home of teams in the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association, as well as awards ceremonies and music shows. Described as “a diamond in the desert,” the arena is inspired by the Spring Mountains and the region’s canyons, “but with the flash and glamour of the strip.” This concept is most evident through the 9,000sq ft (836sq m) LED video mesh overlay that covers the glass facade.

Source Park by Saville Jones

“Stadium1"

This may not be one of the biggest projects we covered this year, but it is one of the most fun and innovative. A local architecture firm and a skating company collaborated to transform a disused Victorian bathing house beneath the seafront in the British town of Hastings into a BMX and skate park. The leaky building was water-proofed and re-fitted to create an exciting new leisure destination for the community.

Rogers Place by HOK

“Stadium1"

More than 60,000 people flocked to Rogers Place – the new arena for Canadian National Hockey League (NHL) franchise the Edmonton Oilers – when it was officially opened in September. Among a host of impressive features, the venue’s scoreboard stands out. It weighs 90,000lbs (40,823kg) scoreboard and is five times bigger than any other in the league.

The Rio Handball Arena by Oficina de Arquitetos and Lopes, Santos & Ferreira Gomes and AndArchitects

“Stadium7"

2016 was the year the concept of temporary stadium architecture took hold in the popular imagination, with sustainability a key focus of the Rio Olympic Games, particularly in the facilities designed by AECOM for the event. One of the most innovative arenas built for the Games was the 12,000-seat handball arena. Described as “nomadic architecture” by its creators, the building was designed to be taken down after the Games and recreated, with minimal waste, as four state schools, which were designed simultaneously with the arena to ensure the materials would match all the buildings.

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