Greater Greater Washington

GGW debates: Urban football stadiums in DC

A couple weeks ago, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans made some comments about bringing the Redskins back to a stadium in the District. Though Evans clarified his remarks later, the story sparked some debate here on GGW as well as elsewhere in the blogosphere.


Photo by angela n. on Flickr.

Urban stadiums have been built in cities around the world, with varying level of success. Several GGW contributors weighed in on the issue, debating whether a move by the Redskins back to DC would be welcome or not.

Today we share their thoughts about DC, while tomorrow we will feature some thoughts from other urbanist writers about the experiences in their cities.

Bradley Heard

Although I, as a Prince George's resident, would hate to lose this economic engine, I think the 'Skins should be back in DC. More importantly, building a new RFK stadium would be a profound opportunity to revitalize that important part of Ward 7.

A new stadium could be the anchor of new TOD redevelopment of the vast parking lots, creating something more urban. At a minimum, some low-rise mixed use buildings with street-level retail could be added around the perimeter. The project could be coupled with the addition of the oft-talked-about infill Blue/Orange/Silver Line Metro Station at Oklahoma Avenue, which could tie into the Benning Road/H Street Streetcar line and commercial district, and bike and pedestrian improvements along East Capitol (east to Benning Road and beyond) and along the river.

The Redskins say they're not planning to leave FedEx Field until their lease is up in 2027, so that gives the District plenty of time to plan. At the same time, the departure of the Redskins from FedEx Field in Landover would give Prince George's County an opportunity to redevelop that awful site into something a bit more transit-orientedsomething that connects more logically (probably via frequent bus routes) to the Morgan Boulevard and Largo stations and the Landover Gateway area.

Alex Block

I've seen some urban stadiums work out well. They can even have nice joint-development opportunities. However, the incentives for all parties are in complete opposition here.

The only way a giant new stadium at RFK makes sense for the city is if it hosts lots of events, and that requires an expensive roof. Likewise, the city's interest is in developing those parking lots to make better use of that space. And if you develop those lots, you take away Dan Snyder's ability to charge $40 per car on game days.

The goals for a successful urban development are often in opposition to those of a profitable NFL team. This isn't necessarily the case for baseball and soccer stadiums, or indoor arenas such as the Verizon Center. As mentioned in this discussion, pro football stadiums are lousy for generating activity because they're very large, very expensive, and host relatively few events.

There's actually an interesting proposal in Los Angeles from Anschutz Entertainment Group to build an NFL stadium near the LA Convention Center in downtown LA (next to the Staples Center as well as the recently developed LA Live entertainment complex). The stadium, like what Jack Evans seems to want, would have a retractable roof, and would essentially be a very large arena.

The challenge is in incorporating any kind of superblock development of that size into an urban context. The very nature of the structure (as well as the events it hosts - and all the usual pomp and circumstance of tailgating, etc) isn't a great fit. It certainly could be accomplished at the RFK site, but would require some significant changes to the current NFL stadium paradigm. You can't just plop a new version FedExField down on East Capitol Street and expect success.

Tim Krepp

As someone who lives about 120 feet from the Stadium-Armory Metro stop, I'm pretty dubious of any development of a football stadium, for several reasons.

A 100,000+ seat stadium gets used, optimistically, 20-25 times a year. When it's being used, it may be a great asset to the area, but otherwise it's a giant blockage to urban connectivity. Furthermore, before the Redskins moved to FedEx field, Stadium-Armory metro had a pretty significant backlog when RFK sold out (40,000 or so), often taking an hour or more to clear all the passengers. An Oklahoma Avenue station could potentially take a little more, as well as streetcar lines, but the overflow would still swamp the neighborhood, both metro access and driving.

Parking is both a giant revenue stream for the Skins and part of the football culture is the tailgating. There will be huge resistance to a new stadium with out acres of surface parking, which, most of us would agree, is not a good use of the site.

Lastly, the District has bigger and better development opportunities to be concerned about. DC has a fairly significant backlog of promising urban in-fill sights (Reservation 13, SW Waterfront, Near Southeast/Capital Riverfront, Popular Point, etc.), which will take 5-10 years to come to fruition.

It's quite sensible to start long term planning for the RFK site, as well as beginning the process of turning it over from the federal government, as that will no doubt take a decade in itself. But why not just develop a TOD plan for the site without a stadium? What does the Redskins being there do that a well thought out TOD plan doesn't? As a close neighbor, I would say yes to a new transit oriented development, but "no thanks" to the 'Skins. And not just because I'm a Giants fan.

Erik Weber

Matt Yglesias says that NFL stadiums belong on the periphery of cities, because of their low-intensity use, and their large need for parking. I agree to some extent with his argument, but I would hardly call FedEx field's location "on the periphery" of DC. While very few people, I think, would argue for a large football stadium in the heart of a downtown, because of their greater size that basketball arenas or even the newer "throw-back" style baseball stadiums, football stadiums can be successfully integrated at the edge of dense urban areas, much like RFK's location.

Still, to be truly successful, a new RFK would have to reject Yglesias' assumption that a large, mostly unused stadium surrounded by parking is somehow a fait-a-complit for NFL stadiums. If the stadium is designed to be flexible and accommodate more than just football games, one of the most compelling arguments against urban stadia can be eliminated by encouraging non-football uses. The Georgia Dome, home to the Atlanta Falcons, sits in downtown Atlanta. It has a variety of problems of its own, but underuse is not one of them: it hosts regular season college football and basketball games, major tournament and bowl games, as well as scores of other events.

With a strong site plan that ensures good access to Stadium-Armory and a new Oklahoma Avenue metro stations, stadium siting that is surrounded by multi-use park/event space to accommodate "tailgating" metro riders, and a reduced amount of structured parking, the Redskins could anchor a revitalized Anacostia riverfront. Redevelopment would offer DC a chance to revisit the pedestrian unfriendliness of of the streets surrounding RFK and create new access points for pedestrians and cyclists to reach the river.

A succesful new RFK stadium hinges on several ifs: excellent transit access, improved walkability of the surrounding, multi-use design, and minimal structured parking. But, after all, the Redskins aren't really moving anytime soon, so perhaps, by the time they do, these ifs won't be so far fetched.

As it stands, large urban stadia have been successful in other cities around the world, particularly with soccer stadiums in Europe, though these are used far more often than most NFL stadiums. Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium, seating slightly over 60,000 sits on a large block in the middle of central London, without so much as a scrap of surface parking. FC Barcelona's Camp Nou is similarly situated in the middle of the city, and seats nearly 100,000.

Tomorrow, courtesy of some our blogosphere colleagues, we'll take a look at some examples in the US where cities have chosen to keep their NFL stadiums in the city.

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Erik Weber has been living car-free in the District since 2009. Hailing from the home of the nation's first Urban Growth Boundary, Erik has been interested in transit since spending summers in Germany as a kid where he rode as many buses, trains and streetcars as he could find. Views expressed here are Erik's alone. 

Comments

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I think Tim hits the nail on the head. I agree entirely.

by Pat on Dec 20, 2010 2:28 pm • linkreport

Most people like the idea of a stadium but I'm not sold bringing it back to the District not only because of the expense which is huge, but as Tim said, we have developmental options now. Honestly, I'd rather have a dense residential and a new blue line go in at the RFK/Reservation 13 site than a stadium.

by Randall M. on Dec 20, 2010 2:50 pm • linkreport

Uh...we're debating cutting programs or jacking taxes, and we're going to do another massive giveaway to pro-sports? Really?

by John on Dec 20, 2010 2:55 pm • linkreport

The MCIVerizon Center is a multifunctional stadium without parking lots. So is Madison Square Garden. Why can't that happen with a Football stadium? In Europe, open air soccer stadiums are used for all kinds of events, including massive pop concerts.

by Jasper on Dec 20, 2010 3:32 pm • linkreport

If the Redskins want to buy that land and build a privately-financed stadium for themselves I have no objections but as a DC resident I completely oppose the spending of even one dime of tax money on a monument to one of the most consistently inept teams in the NFL and the stadium sized ego of its owner. Also, I don't think it is the least bit realistic to think the Redskins would be at all interested in the idea of transit accessibility and limited parking. Dan Snyder has gone to great lengths to make getting to Fedex without paying him for a parking pass as difficult as possible and I just don't see him giving up that revenue stream.

by Jacob on Dec 20, 2010 3:45 pm • linkreport

>>"In Europe, open air soccer stadiums are used for all kinds of events, including massive pop concerts."

We already have Nats stadium for pop concerts and other random events too big for Verizon. And a 100,000 seat football stadium is not a suitable venue to share with DC United which generally only averages ~15K in attendance.

The current RFK site and it's parking could be the site of a new museum, Wegmans, Millenium park style open space, and acres of housing. It doesn't need an NFL stadium.

Fedex is already a perfectly suitable spot for the Redskins and that stadium is only around 13 years old...

by Jason on Dec 20, 2010 3:50 pm • linkreport

What's the status of the land under RFK? My understanding is that it is Park Service (i.e. federal) land that is currently leased to the city with the express condition that it be used as a sports/entertainment complex. I think this condition necessarily affects the analysis of what will/should happen with the site. That is, while it would be fantastic to develop the land without a stadium on it, I'm not sure that's legally or politically feasible. Please, tell me if I'm mistaken or if I underestimate the chances that this condition can be overcome.

@John - I hope very few people are talking about the city building a stadium for Dan Snyder. Even proponents of a new RFK (and I tentatively & conditionally number myself among them) would almost certainly require Snyder to foot a substantial part of the cost of construction.

Snyder himself will potentially be a big hurdle, though. He does love his parking fees, and I doubt he's eager to spend too much of his own money on a stadium, but if those hurdles could be cleared, and some TOD is included at the site (possibly supported by a new Rosedale Metro station and certainly by Stadium-Armory and the streetcar), this could be a win.

by The AMT on Dec 20, 2010 3:59 pm • linkreport

As others have pointed out, there are really two debates here:
Can you build an urban football stadium?
There are some examples that show you CAN do this. M&T Bank in Baltimore, Qwest Field in Seattle, and the Georgia Dome to name a few. These places manage to mitigate the parking problem somewhat by being connected to transit. Qwest Field is probably the best, it has great transit access (commuter rail, light rail, and there's lots of coordination with the transit agency on bus service from park & rides) - but it also has a parking garage that makes the footprint smaller (expensive).

Emirates Stadium is just a silly comparison; sure it doesn't have any parking but it's a 10 minute walk from three huge transit stations that serve two different underground lines, the overground, and national rail. They shut down a big swath of roads around the stadium on match day to facilitate pedestrian movement. It's an ideal to aspire to but I don't think it's remotely possible in the next 20 years. With a separated Blue Line it could be more realistic though.

More important is should we build an urban stadium?
There's some pride to be gained in having the team actually IN DC, but is it worth it? Throwing some public money in to try to get a team to stay is probably a winning proposition, but just throwing money at NFL teams is just ridiculous considering how much money they already make. The Redskins are I think the second most valuable franchise after the Cowboys, should we really be throwing money at them just to get them to move 8 miles down the road? How does that benefit DC as a city?

Teams and stadium promoters keep recycling the same economic BS to get cities to shell out money for new stadiums. In the 60s, 70s and 80s the teams from different sports tried to band together and get their cities to build them big new multipurpose stadiums. Then 20 years later they decided these stadiums were trash and demanded new ones. The economic benefits are unproven at best and most of the evidence shows stadiums end up costing more money than they bring into city coffers by a huge margin - they really just end up enriching the team owners.

by MLD on Dec 20, 2010 4:08 pm • linkreport

@The AMT: I would hope there will be $0 of public money wasted on this.

by John on Dec 20, 2010 4:19 pm • linkreport

>> "What's the status of the land under RFK? My understanding is that it is Park Service (i.e. federal) land that is currently leased to the city with the express condition that it be used as a sports/entertainment complex."

I think you're right about the status however I don't see this as a big obstacle that couldn't be overcome. If the city includes plans for future Smithsonian museum expansion and a good sized park on the land they should be able to get an agreement to redevelop the parking lots with new streets and housing.

by Jason on Dec 20, 2010 4:22 pm • linkreport

Build it at the end of the Silver Line near Dulles and the Redskins can have their practice facility become part of their stadium / entertainment complex.

by Some Ideas on Dec 20, 2010 4:26 pm • linkreport

An urban stadium can work, an urban NFL stadium does not work especially in the context of the Redskins becuase of the ingrained tradition of tailgating. Ignoring Snyder's desire to be able to charge for parkings, the fans would be upset if tailgating was not part of the experience. Even in urban stadiums like Qwest, there is a huge amount of surface lots in the industrial area south of the stadium.

by nathaniel on Dec 20, 2010 4:33 pm • linkreport

@Jasper

Verizon Center and MSG hold 20,000 people each. The smallest NFL stadium holds 60,000 and FedEx Field holds over 90,000. That's a pretty big difference in the number of people transit has to handle.

The Nationals averaged 22,500 fans per game this year. Though I think something like 60% of fans take transit or walk (not sure, might be higher). Navy Yard station can handle 15,000 people per hour entering or exiting (Stadium Armory is the same). Nats games are very easy using the Metro. But you can't build a stadium where 4 times as many people will be there (NFL sells out 99% of the time), plop it on top of a transit station and call it good.

by MLD on Dec 20, 2010 4:34 pm • linkreport

@ MLD - You are absolutely right that there are two questions - can we and should we. I think the basic point is that we've reach a time where people can foresee that the District will run out of usable space and places like RFK site might be too valuable to just give it away (or pay to have a stadium built) to the NFL or any other sport franchise.

If we get to the place where this is something that makes sense, I think we should look at other locations in the city that few ever considered. What about the air rights over I 395 or an area truly neglected, Ivy City.

It's not inconceivable deck over the tracks this area and maybe build light rail or a MARC station. I know its way out of the box but if we are talking 30 years from now, why not?

by Randall M. on Dec 20, 2010 4:37 pm • linkreport

I'm with Tim on this. Erik's example of the Georgia Dome is a poor one because what makes the Georgia Dome so useful is that it's a multi-sport arena. Even then, the Georgia Dome is the anchor of a low-density, auto-friendly zone that conspires to cut off downtown Atlanta from the Clark & Spelman and Vine City neighborhoods.

by tom veil on Dec 20, 2010 4:46 pm • linkreport

Two things: 1) I can't agree with spending tax money on a stadium for the Redskins. Multiple reassons why. I am a Redskins fan, but nothing they have done in the last 20 years has made sense.
2) We should be looking to redevelop the land around RFK. I would like to see a park, water access, monument and perhaps if lucky a 25K seat soccer/mix use stadium. With very little parking (>4500 spaces). European style. Incorporate the streetcar and H street's bar scene becomes huge pre-game places.

Park and monument/museum would make it a great space as well.

I just don't see Synder or any other owner wanting to build a true "urban" stadium. Parking would be a huge issue.

by whoa_now on Dec 20, 2010 4:51 pm • linkreport

Another reason the comparisons to European stadiums don't work is the fact that Redskins fans come from much further away than European soccer fans. Redskins games are a regional event. The vast, vast majority of Redskins fans do not live in DC or even near the metro.
Honestly, I think a soccer stadium would be a better idea. That's not because of DC United, but I think there would be much more demand for alternative uses for a 30,000 seat stadium than a 90,000 seat one. But we already have Nats Stadium so even most of that is already taken care of.

by Pat on Dec 20, 2010 4:57 pm • linkreport

No. Want city pride? Care about athletics? How about professional Phys Ed teachers and Coaches for all DCPS students, boys and girls. Quality athletic opportunities for all levels and ages to: excel, push themselves, achieve goals, develop habits and attitudes (positive sportsmanship) and skills for life-long fitness and immediate (short term) lessons in delayed gratification, commitment, comraderie, humility (there is always someone better/having a better day) and the joy of achievement.

Start a scholar-athlete awards program (money) for DCPS students. Make DC a national leader in nurturing k-12 scholar-athletes.

Here's an example program: http://www.mhsaa.com/Schools/Students/ScholarAthleteAward.aspx

Modify it to include reaching fitness goals/improvement to encourage goal-setting, self-improvement and life-long fitness habits in those who aren't the best natural athletes.

Okay all DC students- private, public and charter school attendees can participate.

Quality athletic opportunities for all DCs kids before public money goes to a super wealthy businessman. Snyder, The Redskins and the NFL don't need taxpayer help.

by Tina on Dec 20, 2010 6:24 pm • linkreport

Only way I would support building a Redskins stadium in DC is if we can entomb Dan Snyder in concrete and then bury him under the 50-yard line.

by Fritz on Dec 20, 2010 6:38 pm • linkreport

No, keep it in the burbs. I saw some plans for redevelopement of the RFK site into a park one time and looked a million times better than a gaint stadium and parking lot. Plus, there are literally only 8 football games a year. It doesn't need to be in the middle of the city.

by Doug on Dec 20, 2010 7:34 pm • linkreport

Great article Erik!

Not only FC Barcelona has its Nou Camp Stadium in the middle of the city.
But in Madrid,there is two large soccer stadiums:
Real Madrid, right in the main avenue in downtown Madrid. It seats over 80.000 people (Plus the thousands that do not get a ticket and stay outside)
And Atlético de Madrid stadium which seats over 55.000 people,also located in downtown Madrid. Some weekends there are games at both sites at once.
The only difference: in Madrid everybody takes public transportation, nobody would even think to drive to a soccer game.

I am all for bringing the Redskins to DC, as long as they do not create much more extra parking and public transportation is provided at demand.

by Mar on Dec 20, 2010 8:26 pm • linkreport

Jack Evans is once again out of his mind! Let the Deadskins play in MD. If they want to return to DC..fine...with these conditions:
1-Snyder (whoever the owner is/will be) pays for it himself including any infrastructure improvements including METRO.
2-All players must live in DC and pay income taxes like the rest of us.
3-At least 50-60% of support people live in DC.
4-Change the name of the team from that offensive "Redskins."
5-Sign an agreement to obey all of DC's Human Rights laws.
6-Hire an openly gay professional football player.
7-Pay for METRO overtime is games exceed METRO's operating hours.
8-If a new stadium is to have a retractable dome, make sure the company that handles METRO escalators is not involved.
9-At least 300 seats to be given away at each game at no cost to youth and people with disabilities.

by DC John on Dec 20, 2010 8:42 pm • linkreport

I wouldn't say bernabeu is "downtown" madrid; it is in the one of the central business areas nearby skyscrapers. In other words, new area. When it was first built it was the boondocks. Traffic can be a real bitch after a game, although there are a lot of transit options. Lots of excellent roads as well. The number of games and the more affluent client base of Real Madrid helps keep it downtown. And of course the former training areas is the new Cuatro Torres business area. Plenty of corruption there too.....

I'm a big fan of the Tony Roma ribs right there....

ANd yes, I can't see any real reason you couldn't put a football stadium inside a city. However, I don't think it is the best use...

by charlie on Dec 20, 2010 9:30 pm • linkreport

You probably could in theory build an urban friendly NFL stadium. However, I see no good reason to expend a single DC tax dollar to do so.

I also could be convinced to get on board with DC John's conditions too.

by Kate on Dec 20, 2010 10:30 pm • linkreport

Given that the idea was floated by developer pal Jack Evens, my first thought was "I'll bet DC will be asked to pay for it". The Deadskins spent a significant portion of their history as losing team and were one of the last to racially integrate. People from actual sports towns love to make fun of them and famous status as a season ticket you could get only through death reflected the ownership of tickets by lobbyists, trade associations, etc. Even in their better days, you could always find a Deadskins ticket if you wanted one. the idea that anyone should abet the incompetence and miserly behavior of Snyder is just beyond me.

by Rich on Dec 20, 2010 11:02 pm • linkreport

@Bradley, you are almost kinda on the right track. The RFK stadium area is in Ward 7's Kingman Park but that area is too residential and the political capital to move the Redskins to RFK is too high.

I, however, appreciate your concern for Ward 7 and regret people don't realize they can get to FedEx taking DC's Sheriff Rd into Maryland. It is a straight shot! Linking in the Deanwood Metro and developing the DC and MD ends of Sheriff Road would yield tremendous dividends and begin to address the sprawl found in Prince George's. Maryland's Capitol Heights and Addison Road Metros and surrounding neighborhoods can't be forgotten either. Keeping the Redskins at FedEx and leveraging the jurisdictional and private dollars to build up neighborhoods bounded by Sheriff Road, Addison Road, and Capitol Heights Metro would be much easier than trying to build new Metros at Oklahoma Ave., widening roads, and building out new housing and a stadium.

by Deanwoodenizen on Dec 21, 2010 12:23 am • linkreport

@Jim: I wouldn't hold up anything from Charlotte as a mode of urban planning.

by Robin on Dec 21, 2010 12:40 am • linkreport

One point that I find left out of this debate all too often is that whatever NFL stadium would be built in DC will likely be almost twice the capacity of RFK. In football configuration, RFK seats about 57,000. Any Redskins stadium will inevitably be at least as large as Dallas' new stadium, which has a maximum capacity of 111,000.

Does anyone remember Stadium-Armory station during a Redskins game? I do. There is no way to double that. Unless, of course, Dan Snyder would pitch in for a separate Blue Line. But I think he's a little too stingy for that. And even if transit capacity were to be doubled, you still haven't addressed parking. Not saying that it would need to be doubled, but I imagine what is already there at the RFK site would be insufficient.

Another thought:
The NFL season offers 10 home games, including preseason. If DC United games were played there as well, that would add another 15 home league games. Both leagues are planning on expanding their seasons. Of course, MLS games will have to increase their attendance before the United could pull off playing at an NFL stadium. That would make the stadium a little more useful when the Redskins aren't disappointing me on the field.

by Dave Murphy on Dec 21, 2010 1:51 am • linkreport

@Dave Murphy, playing in NFL stadiums has been one of the biggest hurdles to making MLS teams successful (Seattle excluded). There is no way DC United would ever be interested in sharing a stadium with the Redskins. Attending an MLS game in an NFL stadium feels empty (Meadowlands was awful for Red Bulls games) and there would never be a demand for season tickets. Also, operating a 90,000 seat stadium for a crowd one-third that size is prohibitively costly.

If DCU is going to continue to play on the RFK campus, it will have to be in a new, soccer-specific stadium to be viable.

by Eric on Dec 21, 2010 8:03 am • linkreport

>> "Also, operating a 90,000 seat stadium for a (DC United) crowd one-third that size is prohibitively costly."

More like 1/6 than 1/3. The DC United wiki page shows that most seasons the team has averaged about 15K/gm in attendance. I went to a DC/KC game on Cinco de Mayo last season. The listed attendance was roughtly 10K but it felt like only 3K people were there. Kinda depressing.

by Jason on Dec 21, 2010 8:14 am • linkreport

Before DC even begins to consider a football stadium the city should consider the ramifications of making a deal with Dan Snyder. Its almost like making a deal with the devil.

I don't know whether an NFL stadium in DC would make sense, but I'm 100% positive a stadium deal with Dan Snyder would be an unmitigated disaster.

Here's a list from the City Paper of some of his screw ups. No way DC should ever consider a deal with this guy. No way.
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/40063/the-cranky-redskins-fans-guide-to-dan-snyder/

by michaeldurr100@gmail.com on Dec 21, 2010 8:41 am • linkreport

@Robin

True, Charlotte isn't excellent, but I was pointing it out because it doesn't have the seemingly requisite ocean of surface parking that people (Yglesias, etc) are discussing here.

It's much better than San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium for instance:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=SAN+DIEGO&sll=32.784027,-117.119493&sspn=0.014468,0.018003&gl=us&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=San+Diego,+California&ll=32.78262,-117.118979&spn=0.014468,0.026178&t=h&z=16

by Jim Malone on Dec 21, 2010 9:23 am • linkreport

NCPC has a wonder vision for the site...this is the base line for the area for the future, check it out!

http://www.ncpc.gov/DocumentDepot/Publications/RFKStadiumStudy.pdf

by KG on Dec 21, 2010 9:29 am • linkreport

@Jim Malone

I didn't include Charlotte, or the Metrodome, because they take advantage of the huge amount of surface parking that already exists in their downtowns. There are also two big parking garages directly adjacent to the stadium.

by MLD on Dec 21, 2010 10:00 am • linkreport

Perhaps we could restructure the NFL in such a way that allows for more frequent games, which wouldn't require massive stadiums that sit empty for 355 days a year.

(Heresy, I'm sure, but I imagine that the days of public funding for stadia are coming to an end. Unless coupled with a revitalization project that brings in enough tax revenue to pay for itself (ie. Verizon Center, Nationals Park, Prudential Stadium), it seems like a tacitly bad idea for the taxpayer.

Also, while we're on the topic of impossible discussions, can the NFL start to have an honest conversation about the long-term health effects of the game on its players? It'd be moderately amusing for OSHA to step in on behalf of the players.)

by andrew on Dec 21, 2010 10:54 am • linkreport

A shared DC United and Redskins stadium might be possible. The new Vancouver, BC MLS team was asked whether they would consider playing in the existing CFL stadium (BC Place). They said no unless a 'roof within a roof' could be constructed to effectively eliminate the upper tiers and create a 30,000 seat stadium.
http://bit.ly/hJozSC (the rendering of this is about 27 seconds into the video)
This would allow the stadium to be used for a greater variety of events including both soccer and football.

The more germane issue is whether the stadium can effectively activate the space around it through a mix of uses and by eliminating the sea of parking that currently surrounds the stadium. Safeco field in Seattle was built, for example, with a large attached parking structure that minimizes the need for surface parking.

by Justin on Dec 21, 2010 12:50 pm • linkreport

The Cowboys stadium is set to like 80k for Pro games, getting to around 90k with some standing room only 'seats'. Same size as FedEx Field.

by NikolasM on Dec 21, 2010 12:55 pm • linkreport

@ Charlie
Where do you get Bernabeu is not downtown Madrid?
Maybe it was not on a densely populated area when it was first built in the 1940's, but we are in 2010,it is a heavily populated residential& business area.
It is not the historical centre, but it is still downtown Madrid! Everything within M-30 is downtown Madrid.

You can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VMFqyYCgC4 (mute it first!)

by Mar on Dec 25, 2010 12:59 pm • linkreport

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