Sports & Architecture

With no major disasters or messes, the super bowl held at Minneapolis last week was a success. The bold north theme was lively and welcoming. Despite of the cold weather, fans were seen roaming the streets of Minneapolis at Nicollet Ave. Mall of America recorded a 30% increase in its visitors last weekend.

Such international and local sports events have a major impact on the economic growth of the hosting cities. Tourists and fans contributes to the economy, more jobs are created, and public health is improved. Consequently, such events impact the architectural field. Major renovations, expansions and new projects develop to accommodate the increase in consumers. These development plans do not only include the sports facilities but also city attractions, accommodations, transportation, restaurants and retail business.

In 2016 U.S. Bank Stadium opened its gates to the public. HKS designed the stadium and was inspired by ice formations on St. Anthony’s Falls and Scandinavian Viking longboats.  Known as “The People’s Stadium” and home to the Minnesota Vikings NFL team, the stadium was awarded to host the 2018 Super Bowl.  Accordingly, the development helped reshape East Town neighborhood to accommodate new offices, retail stores, residential units and a new public green space on the nearby riverfront.

   
  
   
  
    
  
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    U.S. Bank Stadium - Image courtesy of explore Minnesota.com -http://www.exploreminnesota.com/events/32053/super-bowl-lii

U.S. Bank Stadium - Image courtesy of explore Minnesota.com -http://www.exploreminnesota.com/events/32053/super-bowl-lii

Such leagues not only reshape cities but could also be the initiator of major decisions addressing global challenges. On a broader scale and as announced last September, the International Olympic Committee awarded the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad in 2028 to Los Angeles. LA and Paris as the former hosting city for 2024 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Olympic cooperation. Both cities agreed to work together on sustainability, inclusiveness and innovation. Historically, there were cities founded as Olympic cities and developed to accommodate the spectators and their needs throughout the short period of the games. Some of these cities never became part of the urban fabric, some got abandoned and others were reused and repurposed for military services or universities.  LA’s main concept is to use 100% existing and temporary venues with plans to reuse or return all materials to their natural state to avoid the waste.

LA already started their master planning and development of the whole city. The concept extends to four Sports Parks: Downtown, Valley, South Bay and Long Beach.  Each Sports Park includes a festive Live Site, sport showcasing, and multiple dining and retail options. More than 75% of the games will be played within the 4 parks offering the fans minimal travel options. LA making use of their existing venues including the Olympic city at UCLA campus along with renovation and improvement projects for existing metro line, Airport, arena, beaches, and convention centers. 

   
  
   
  
    
  
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    LA Master plan-image courtesy of www.Olympic.Org -  https://www.olympic.org/la-2028

LA Master plan-image courtesy of www.Olympic.Org - https://www.olympic.org/la-2028

Sports are fun events that gather people for entertainment and a powerful drive for change, raising awareness for master planning and addressing global challenges.