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New Developments: Building the future

It’s an exciting time in sport and leisure, with many new facilities being built, from stadiums to community leisure hubs. We round up the most impressive projects from around the world

Published in Sports Management 2019 issue 3

Everton FC’s new fortress
Cost: £500m
Location: Liverpool, UK
Design team: MEIS architects
Everton FC’s new fortress

Details have been revealed for a brick and steel construction which will make the new Everton Football Club stadium appear “as though it has risen from the dock”.

US architect Dan Meis has unveiled his much-anticipated plans for the £500m venue in Liverpool, UK, which will be built at the semi-derelict Bramley Dock and is estimated to deliver a £1bn boost to the city’s economy.

Meis’ concepts show a brick, steel and glass design which takes its inspiration from the historic maritime and warehouse buildings nearby.

It will be built on a north-south orientation – considered the best approach in terms of the impact of sunshine and shadow on the fans’ experience and on the televising of matches.

The structure combines the historic and the modern, with the brick base of the stadium incorporating a subtle nod to Goodison Park’s famous Archibald Leitch latticework, while the dynamic roof structure made from steel and glass gives the stadium a modern finish.

The stadium is made up of four stands including a large steep home to the south that will house 13,000 home fans on matchdays. Overall capacity will initially be set at 52,000, with the opportunity to expand capacity to 62,000 seats.

Supporters will be as close to the action as regulations permit and the design of both North and South stand lower tiers will make it easy to adopt rail seating – catering for any possible law change to allow “safe standing” in the future.

“This project isn’t about a building or piece of architecture, it’s about helping generations of fans create a new home,” Meis said.

“We know from all of the conversations we’ve had with fans that they want a stadium that is atmospheric, feels like a fortress and supports the players on the pitch. They also want the club to be ambitious for the future.”

He added that fans, players and local residents were consulted intensively during the design process – and that will continue as the plans are finalised. “It’s really important to understand that there is still time for input in the things that are going to be really important.

“I want people to feel like they love it.”

The new Everton FC stadium will appear as though it has risen from the dock
New home for the LA Clippers
Cost: US$1bn
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Design team: AECOM, Anderson Barker Architects, the City Design Studio of Los Angeles and Hood Studios
The complex will include a multi-purpose plaza for community leisure and events

The owners of NBA team the LA Clippers have revealed detailed plans for a US$1bn indoor arena, to be built in the Inglewood district in Los Angeles, California.

The development will include a “fan-focused” NBA arena for the Clippers’ basketball and a business operations headquarters, along with a first-of-its-kind training centre, tailored specifically for the requirements of NBA players.

The 18,500-seat arena will have a three-dimensional oval design with a unique exterior of diamond-shaped metal panels inspired by the concept of a basketball swishing through a net.

In addition to the aesthetics, the panels have been designed to provide solar benefit for maximum energy efficiency, as part of the facility’s LEED GOLD-certified design.

According to the architectural team, the facility’s most striking feature – intended to highlight the temperate climate of Southern California – is the integration of indoor/outdoor “sky gardens.” These landscaped areas for food and beverage will be accessible from every concourse level.

The complex also envisions a multi-purpose plaza complete with a concert stage, community basketball courts and space for the community to gather and watch everything from Clippers Playoff games to movie premieres on a supersized LED screen.

The ambitious plans for The Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center are part of Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer’s strategy to establish the franchise as a leading force in basketball.

“My goal is simple. I want the Clippers to have the best home in all of sports,” Ballmer said. “What that means to me is an unparalleled environment for players, fans, sponsors and the community of Inglewood. Our goal is to build a facility that re-sets fans’ expectations while having a transformative impact on the city we will call home.”

Construction is expected to begin in 2021 with an opening planned for 2024.

When completed, the complex will generate an estimated US$268m in economic activity for Inglewood annually and more than US$190m in new tax revenue from 2020-2045.

The exterior was inspired by the concept of a basketball swishing through a net
Community boathouse
Location: Washington Heights, New York, USA
Design team: Foster + Partners
The community-centred rowing facility was commissioned by charity Row New York

London-based architecture practice Foster + Partners have revealed plans to create a community-centred boathouse and rowing facility in Washington Heights, New York.

Commissioned by competitive rowing charity Row New York, the proposed timber-roofed building will comprise an array of classrooms, event spaces, and outdoor leisure areas – all of which be used for rowing-focused educational programmes.

Using the sport as a facilitator for self-empowerment, the centre will also help its patrons prepare for higher education with courses that emphasise personal discipline and responsibility.

In a statement, the architects said the project – aimed at underprivileged communities – would “give young people a sense of self-confidence and purpose”, showing them a “path to college”.

Speaking on the project, Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners, explained: “I wanted to create a building that was both functional and accessible, but also one that responded to the Hudson River’s long history as a busy transportation hub.

“This timber boathouse will fit naturally into the landscape and will transform this stretch of the Harlem River into a lively gathering place for people from all communities.”

According to the Waterfront Alliance, Row New York – which currently boasts locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn – has been mulling plans for a new headquarters since 2017.

The future boathouse is expected to bring all of the organisation’s activities under one roof for the first time.

A sporting festival
Cost: CA$550m
Location: Calgary, Canada
Design team: Rossetti

Ambitious plans to create a large sports and entertainment district in Calgary, Canada have been given the green light after a public funding package was agreed for the development.

The City of Calgary has agreed to provide half of the funding for the CA$550m (US$416m, €371m, £344m), project, which is driven by Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited.

The project, located within the downtown area at Victoria Park, will be anchored by a multi-use indoor arena. The arena will become the home of National Hockey League (NHL) franchise Calgary Flames and has been described as “a catalyst for redevelopment”.

As well as the 19,000-capacity arena, the district will feature a “festival street” and public spaces. The project is central to City of Calgary’s vision of establishing a Culture and Entertainment District.

It is also a key component to the city’s economic strategy – called Calgary in the New Economy – approved in June 2018.

“For years, I’ve been saying any investment of public money must have public benefit,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “This deal does that. It’s a fair deal. “I’m pleased that it will allow us to move forward on the important work of city building, especially in east Victoria Park.

Construction work on the arena is set to begin by 2021. Plans to build a new arena for the Calgary Flames franchise have been in the pipeline for more than five years.

The arena and entertainment district is a key component of the city’s economic strategy
Yorkshire hub
Cost: £20.8m
Location: Pontefract, West Yorkshire, UK
Design team: GT3 Architects, Willmott Dixon, ARCADIS Design & Consultancy, Waterman Group
The leisure centre will support the council’s goals to tackle health issues in the community

Work has begun on a £20.8m leisure centre in Pontefract in West Yorkshire.

The Five Towns Leisure and Wellbeing Hub will be owned by Wakefield Council and is due to open in late 2020.

The hub – the largest of its kind ever built in Wakefield – will house a 10-lane swimming pool, studio pool with moveable floor, and a splash pad water confidence area.

There will also be a health club with a large gym floor and group exercise studios, an indoor climbing hub, café and a soft play area.

Outside, facilities also include tennis courts, a full-size 3G grass pitch, a wellbeing garden and an interactive play area.

Wakefield Council has appointed Willmott Dixon to build the centre, which was designed by GT3 Architects.

“The benefits of this project are enormous and will have a lasting impact and a role in tackling health issues such as childhood obesity, long-term respiratory and circulatory diseases and mental health conditions,” said Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for leisure and sport.

“It will also support our efforts to reduce social isolation among older people.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in North, added: “Five Towns Leisure is part a new breed of facility by local authorities that are more like community hubs, offering a wide range of activities and services for local people, and we are looking forward to making another big impact in Wakefield by expanding the District’s leisure and community facilities with Five Towns Leisure.”

The centre will feature a 10-lane swimming pool, health club, indoor climbing hub and more
Island ambition
Cost: US$1.3bn
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Design team: JRDV Architects, Populous and Stantec

Plans have been approved for a 19,000-seat, multi-use indoor arena in Belmont Park on Long Island, New York.

The US$1.3bn venue is set to become the new home of National Hockey League (NHL) franchise New York Islanders.

As well as the indoor arena, the project includes a 350,000sq ft entertainment complex and a 250-bedroom hotel.

The plans were approved by the Empire State Development Board – the New York state body responsible for economic development in the region.

The ambitious project is being driven by New York Arena Partners – a company set up to develop the venue. The venture is jointly owned by the NY Islanders, sports development specialist Oak View Group and real estate company Sterling Equities.

Construction on the arena is expected to begin later this year, with a completion date set for mid-2021.

NY Islanders has been looking to move to a permanent new home from its current Nassau Coliseum arena since 2004. In recent years the franchise has also played home games at the Barclays Center – an indoor arena located in Brooklyn, New York City.

“Today marks a historic occasion for the New York Islanders and our amazing fans,” the Islanders said in a statement.

“We are on schedule to have our new home open for the 2021-22 season.”

ESD board chair Howard Zemsky added: “We are proud of the open, public process this project has gone through over the last two years, strengthened by the input and support of community members who made their voices heard and helped improve the plan, resulting in today’s positive outcome.

“We are committed to continuing to deliver on the thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity this project will create.”

The 19,000 seat arena will be a new home for the New York Islanders hockey team
Centre for future champions
Cost: €6m
Location: Paris, France
Design team: Atelier Ferret Architectures
The community sports centre will include a large multi-sports hall, table tennis area, large climbing wall and seating for 250 spectators

Anew €6m (US$6.7m, £5.4m) community sports centre is being built in the Hauts-de-Bry in the commune of Bry-sur-Marne on the eastern suburbs of Paris.

The centre – designed by Atelier Ferret Architectures – will provide 3,200sq m of space for a number of indoor sports, with facilities including a large, multi-use sports hall, a table tennis area and a large climbing wall.

It will be able to host regional competitions and will have seating capacity for 250 spectators.

Named after French double Paralympic champion Marie-Amélie Le Fur, the centre will open its doors in January 2020.

The design by Atelier Ferret Architectures will see the centre’s users enjoy panoramic views of the Maisons-Rouges park.

The community sports centre will include a large multi-sports hall, table tennis area, large climbing wall and seating for 250 spectators
Sustainable sports
Cost: £53m
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Design team: FaulknerBrowns Architects
The sports facility is on track to be the first of its type in the UK to be BREEAM rated ‘Outstanding’spectators

Construction work has begun on a £53m sports facility at the University of Portsmouth.

A groundbreaking ceremony has been held to signal the start of work on the centre, which will include a 25m, eight-lane swimming pool, an eight-court sports hall, a health club with a 175-station gym and multifunctional studios, climbing and bouldering facilities, two flexible squash courts and a ski simulator.

Designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, the building will set new standards for sustainability for a sports building and is on target to be the first of this type in the UK to be BREEAM rated ‘Outstanding’.

The building’s spaces provide opportunities to exploit natural light and ventilation, while top lighting of the sports hall and pool hall have been designed with energy reduction in mind. There is also a range of photovoltaic panels and a biodiverse green roof, adding to the feel of a “green building”.

“Having worked closely with the university and planners, this will set a significant benchmark for future buildings in the university masterplan and generally across the city,” said Michael Hall, partner at FaulknerBrowns Architects.

Irina Korneychuk, project leader at FaulknerBrowns, added: “The development is not only looking to promote the integration of the university campus with its surroundings, but to deliver wider benefits to the students and local communities.

“This project has been informed and inspired by the best sustainability practices beyond the BREEAM requirements, and will create an environment which promotes health and wellbeing by inspiring people to be more active, throughout the University of Portsmouth and the city as a whole.”

The complex is the first phase of the university’s £400m estate masterplan, designed to reshape the campus and strengthen connections with the city.

According to the university, the proposed plans will “significantly enhance the non-academic life of students”, promoting health and wellbeing through the provision of a wide range of opportunities for activity and movement.

Construction work is being undertaken by Wates and is set to be completed in early 2021. The FaulknerBrown-led design team also includes Max Fordham, Mott MacDonald and LDA Design.

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