SXSports panel: Death of a stadium
Date/time: March 13
The panelists: Dan Meis, design principal/managing partner, MEIS
The gist: Cities, which have won the right to host a World Cup or the Olympics, are taking huge financial hits. The ornate stadiums sit mostly unused once the spectacle games have finished. One stadium used for the World Cup in Brazil now is a bus station. Greece’s economic core was shaken greatly by all the money spent to host the Olympics in 2004.
In the United States, it now costs more than $1 billion to build a new NFL stadium. Yet they maybe are utilized 20 times a year. How do you justify spending that much money?
The takeaway: Meis presented several ideas of how cities can tackle the financial issues of paying for stadiums.
He suggested transformational venues that allow for a massive building to be used for multiple sports, switching from a smaller basketball or hockey arena to a bigger soccer stadium in a matter of minutes. He presented an idea to Doha, Qatar, which is hosting the next World Cup, suggesting that one domed soccer stadium could be used as a hotel and office tower as well as a shopping mall.
Meis also suggested that cities hosting Olympics should settle for smaller, viewing arenas. They could utilize parks, bringing in bleachers, concessions and a giant screen. Fans could watch events on giant screens, allowing for a shared experience, but at a much cheaper cost.
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