Mercedes Benz Stadium’s latest award shows what goes into a new stadium

Building a new stadium is a difficult business. Not only are you designing a building to house tens of thousands of people in party mode every few days, but you’re also building something that needs to be adaptable.

It may not sound like much, but it is: stadiums can’t just be built for use now, they have to be future-proof, too. At least as much as possible.

Far from being just about getting people in safely, giving them a good view of the game and then getting them home smoothly, too, it’s also about the advances in needs that might happen over time. Is the team getting better and gaining more fans? Is the surrounding area growing rapidly, too? And does that mean more building and amenities might pop up to cause traffic and crowding issues? Are there future technological advances on the horizon that you can predict and plan for?

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, was built by global architecture firm HOK, and is a stunning building. It is visually very appealing, holds 71,000 spectators – but is expandable to hold more – and hosts American football side the Atlanta Falcons as well as MLS team Atlanta United FC. It will also host the Super Bowl in 2019.

This week, it became the North America’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Professional Sports Stadium, extolling the green credentials of the sustainable new stadium.

This is the sort of major award that shows the planning that has to go into a new stadium, and how innovation in the sector can really help. The Mercedes Benz Stadium won because of many factors including its water-efficient infrastructure, its use of solar panels and energy efficiency, and also its ability to usher visiting fans to alternative modes of transport to complete their journeys to and from the ground. Even the methods of food preparation are included in the planning.

An energy efficient stadium is just one way in which innovations in stadium technology are leaning, of course, but with so much to think about – and with so many different sports teams at the stage in their development where they want to build new stadiums to replace their creaking old ones – from incorporating future technologies, VR, AR and other apps for enhancing the experience for everyone, it’s worth talking about what the future of stadium technology will bring.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 723 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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