The Engineering of Sports Stadiums


The Engineering of Sports Stadiums


The engineering of sports has been one of the most fascinating experiences. From as early as Ancient times, sports stadium were built with much creativity, resources, and effort. Many authors have gone into details to explain the planning of the major stadiums, and the maintenance of the same. This article will explain the engineering of sports stadium with a major focus in the US.

Why Does It Matter

A question to investigate is why the engineering of sports stadium matter. The fact is that stadiums are unique structures. In some places, structures are communal, and they carry out a lot of symbolism. Therefore, the decision to build or expand a stadium is a very critical decision and must be done after a careful deliberation.

Institutions, including sports bodies, have to think about the diversification of their sources of revenue. Like other commercial entities, the sports activities have to be sustainable in terms of paying bills and the labor economics. The question then becomes how best to be financially independent, without burdening the club with a lot of loans as well as a lot of borrowed money. Thus, the engineering of a stadium is a heavy and long-term invest which can help a club in solving the major problems that clubs face.

Like in a mainstream business, the sports stadium does not have to be a single function, but rather, it can be a multi-purpose stadium. For example, today, a stadium can be used to host a rock event, and that can be a good way of earning an income. An increasing number of stadiums have hosted major concerts which have played an important role in injecting the funds to the clubs.

The aesthetics of the club does matter a lot when it comes to creating memories and at the same time, retaining and attracting fans. Of course, the performance of the club does matter, and so is the stadium. Fans have a tendency of getting mesmerized with big stadiums, and they want to be associated with such clubs. This is more so in the era of video and photography. It should be noted that some events are watched from all over the world, and how the stadium looks like or is presented matters a lot when it comes to attracting viewership.

Technology plays a critical role in ensuring that the football fields are outstanding and not only that, that they will offer the football fans an optimal experience. In stadiums, the requirements for lighting are far much higher, and they take a fortune to invest in. But they carry a high rate of return on investment as more people attend events and people looking for venues choose such a stadium. The good thing with technology is that, every year, it tends to become better and cheaper, and this

The following is an ideal go to lighting engineering in stadiums:

­-Lights png: Eg the mecree model

-Wattage: 1000 W Led is very ideal for illuminance

-Glare: Especially in this era of 4K TV

-Precise lighting control

-The need to look at the warranty of the product offered

The products sourced for lighting should have a long-lifespan. This is because making a replacement of the same can be very expensive. Therefore, the issue of lighting should be sorted out as early as possible in order to avoid making costly decisions.

It should be noted that the lighting that the stadium has chosen should meet the needs of the personnel too. It is good to bear in mind that the employees are working in the stadium full time, and they should be given the ideal opportunity to work. The employees should be allowed to work in a comfortable place.

A major factor in the engineering of sports stadium is the issue of safety. Today, the stadiums face a number of safety threats, some were very prominent in the past times, and others are emerging. One of the oldest threats to the safety of stadiums is fires. The following are the major incidences of fires in stadiums in the US:

-A football stadium at the University of Florida was being maintained by a number of employees, one of them being a tractor driver. In one such maintenance routines, a tractor caught fire, but no one was injured in the events.

-In December 2019, Texas Rangers caught fire. The fire department stated that the fire affected the area for a whopping 37 minutes. It was reported that some crates containing materials caught fire, and the fire was almost ravaging the stadium. By the time of the event of the fire, the stadium was under construction.

Citi Field, which hosts the Mets caught fire when the players were away. The good thing was in this event was that there was an automatic activation of the sprinklers and the flames were put off. By that time, the Mets had gone to Atlanta. 60 fire fighters responded to the event and were able to manage the situation.

Having stated that, the managements of stadiums must lay down concrete measures in order to ensure that the fires in stadiums can be prevented from the word go.  This is one of the reason why only a clear purse or clear bag is allowed into sports stadiums.

An emerging problem is that large stadiums have attracted cases of terrorism. This is more so from the year 1998. The engineering of stadiums include the need to ensure that the stadiums do not have materials which are highly flammable as this would translate to more injuries and fatalities. Another strategy that stadiums use is to ensure that the engineering of the sports bears in mind that there should be enough emergency exits in the case of an attack. In many cases, an attack in a stadium leads to a stampede which leads to more injuries and fatalities.

Though rare, there are few cases where food and water also happens. The most common cases are about pathogens as well as poison. Though far-fetched, the biological weapons can have a very big impact on the stadiums. There is nothing much that engineering can do in such cases. The best thing that an engineer can do is to make sure that water supplies are protected in the best way possible.

Stadiums stand to lose a lot from theft as well as vandalism. As a matter of fact, some thieves are able to conduct transactions that they are not allowed to. If this continues for a very long time, it threatens the financial health of the stadium. In some cases, theft and vandalism arrests the development agenda of a sports stadium.

Notable Examples in the US

Michigan Stadium

For example, the Michigan Stadium (owned by the University of Michigan), is one of the most iconic stadiums in the US and it is known for its magnificence. It is the largest sports stadium in the country, and comes second in the entire world in terms of size. It has hosted memorable events including a game between Manchester United and Real Madrid. If one can afford it, one is allowed to have a wedding at the Michigan Stadium. Visitors are allowed to have tours at the stadium. There are plans in place to make drastic improvements of the current stadium in order to give the visitors, players, and fans, an even better experience.

Beaver Stadium

Penn State holds that football is a part and parcel of its culture. The state has seen a lot of changes over the years as far as the football experience is concerned. One of the most significant and observable achievements of the state is the construction and engineering of the Beaver Stadium.

Recently, a professional by the name Stahl Sheaffer, visited the stadium with a multi-disciplinary team including a number of roofing consultants. The team was seeking to identify mechanical, structural, and functional witnesses facing the stadium. The team was seeking to do an upgrade and repair in order to make it more comfortable for the attendants.

The changes that the team was looking at include the following: cracks, joint failures, rusty and old parts, and water infiltration. Most of that effort was about establishing if the engineering was dome right, and if there are concerns concerning the same.

Other changes were initiated by students from Penn State engineering. The students noted that football fans face a lot of conflict in lines, the restrooms, and the parking. The team felt that it is better to encourage the fans to come and watch the game live, rather than using their TVs. The students decided to do a number of modifications including the following:

-Ensuring that there is less time that is taken at the concessions stand

-The need to improve the game experience of every one

-Improving the interactions between the attendants and the customers

-When there is a line, it should be pleasurable and enjoyable in the waiting room

-Reducing the waiting time in the restroom, this is more so when it comes to the women restroom.

Tiger Stadium

Tiger Stadium, Detroit, could as well be termed as the history of baseball in Detroit. As a matter of fact, the stadium can boast of a century of baseball. The stadium has hosted numerous other events including concerts. The stadium was demolished in 1999 in order to make room for further space, and at the same time, other facilities were built at the ground. The stadium has been a major reference when it comes to the baseball discourse across the country.

Lessons From Europe

The US can learn a lot from its counterpart the UK and the rest of Europe, about sports administration in general, and the engineering of sports in particular. The following are important lessons that Americans can learn from the UK as far as sports are concerned:

-Arsene Wenger is as perfect example par excellence on how a team can fund-raise to build a stadium, and be able to pay the loans in a considerable amount of time. In order to build the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal faced many challenges, including the problem of relocating the neighbors, and with the construction of the new stadium, such problems were solved. Most importantly, the coach ensured that the engineering of the stadium was done right, and that it would come with the right quality.

-Arsene Wenger was so influential in the economics of building the Emirates Stadium that when the banks were funding the stadium, they stated that he should accept a long-term contract with the club, and they were not ready to deal with someone else. The financiers had a lot of trust in the coach.

-The engineering of Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany, is one of the best examples of product engineering. The club boasts a capacity of 66, 000, quite a great achievement and a source of pride. The engineering was done by Alpine as well as Herzog de Meuron Architects, a reputable engineering firm in its own right. Allianz Arena has the design of a bowl, and a very clear view from the seats.

-The early 20th century saw one of the most prolific engineers in Architect Archibald Leitch, and the Old Trafford was constructed by this eminent person. The engineer started in building factories, and therefore, he was in the best position to build stadiums in a fast and cheap way. At that time, clubs did not have a lot of money, and they were always looking for budget conscious solutions, and the engineer offered just that. A journalist described the stadium as the most remarkable, the most handsomest, and the most spacious.


The construction and engineering is a very big decision to make. It requires a lot of consultation, and a lot of collaboration, from the beginning to the end. It is a decision that should take time. The most critical thing is to ensure that the clubs can seek solutions which are affordable and sustainable; solutions which are going are not going to bring in unnecessary logistic and financial burden. Most importantly, the fans should be involved in every stage of the way.