Sustainable Development for Professional Sports Stadiums
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The modern era's fixation with the object and its inversion of space has resulted in the loss of the traditional realm of public space found in the city. Gone are the places for public action and gathering: the streets and squares or, historically, the agora, forum, and piazza. In terms of building typology, the object has replaced the void as the central feature of the modern city� (Guskind 1984, 98). Professional National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums house the largest crowds of almost any other American venue. The large investment dollars and high levels of public access through these spaces place importance on the way a stadium and its surrounding development is designed. Good urban design practice and successful economic development can create a robust stadium environment that attracts visitors and adds to both the utility and the economy of the city. Both location and design affect the marketability of a place, so this paper evaluates NFL and MLB stadiums’ locations and urban design to ultimately form a list of recommendations for stadium planners and local decision-makers (Petersen 2001). First, a background presents the importance of the subject, followed by a description of the scope of this study. Next, precedents are studied through the lens of location type and site characteristics. Section 3 delves into three cities providing case studies under both the NFL and MLB that vary in success. The analysis focuses heavily on Atlanta as both of the city’s teams are moving homes in 2017. Recommendations and further implications follow, providing both general ideas and Atlanta-specific suggestions.