Design and Technology: Stadiums of the Future

By Parker Gainsburg, Maxwell Elam and Dylan Bosse
MAR 29, 2017

Stadiums have always served as centers for competitive sports and many other events that draw very large crowds. At a time that is centered around the advancement of technology, there has been a significant amount of upgrades to both the design and technology of stadiums around the world. These upgrades vary from the quality of digital displays to improved stadium infrastructure systems that provide a more pleasant and convenient experience for fans. Some of these changes are clearly visible within the designs of the stadiums, while others have been implemented in more subtle ways.

Home Run sculpture, Marlins Park
Photo: Jared, Flickr

Analyzing these innovations begs the question, what exactly defines a stadium as technologically advanced? According to NJ Advanced Media, there is a 25,000-square-foot scoreboard with 1080p video in AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas. On the other hand, stadiums such as Marlins Park have implemented interactive technology such as an app that allows fans to order food from their seats so that they do not miss any of the action. Marlins Park also includes a home run sculpture that lights up and moves to celebrate every home run that the Marlins hit. San Francisco’s Levi Stadium features an unusually large, 9,600 square foot, scoreboard and free wifi for all of its guests according to Daktronics. In locations that experience sporadic weather, some stadiums have opted to build a retractable roof. For stadiums that lack such a roof, overhangs have been installed to provide shelter for the fans.

Around the world, even the architectural design can cause some stadiums to stand out. An example is the Ericsson Globe in Sweden which looks to be a humongous observatory from the outside while the inside houses an ice rink. Another unique structure is the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. As implied by the name, the arena is shaped to mimic a saddle. Some of these unique designs are more apparent from the inside, as is the case at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, where there is a standing room area that protrudes over the seats near the top of the building. The innovations seen within stadiums throughout the world, not only distinguish one stadium from another, but also provide a more pleasant experience for attendees. With the emerging technology and structural advancements to stadiums, it can be expected that these revolutionary changes will increasingly become the standard for venues around the globe.