Sporting Park Opens as ‘Best in Major League Soccer’

June 10, 2011

More than 19,000 soccer fans experienced technology and innovation rooted into stadium design at the Sporting Park opening Thursday, June 9. It has been hailed by the media as the best in Major League Soccer and many have noted it has raised the bar in stadium design.

The stadium was designed to capture movement and motion by celebrating the beautiful game. Repeating angular metal fins on the exterior represent the players’ athleticism, or the body. Its signature roof canopy mimics the long floating arc of a soccer ball as it soars across the field. Its polycarbonate panels, which cover every seat in the stadium and help amplify crowd noise, create an intimate, yet grand scale.

“Every design decision we made was directed back toward the fan experience,” said Jon Knight, Populous Senior Principal and Sporting Park designer. “It was by paying special attention to even the littlest details that got us to this result – it’s not just a stadium; it’s a social experience.”

The stadium’s notable fan-oriented elements include:

  • A dedicated members’ only club with bench seating for 2,000 fans at field level, where the front row is just 19 feet from the pitch
  • Field Club seats integrated with player boxes and the ability to watch the teams parade from their locker rooms to the field at the dedicated club level
  • Two suite levels designed to encourage social interaction with floor-to-ceiling doors for indoor/outdoor seating and food and beverage service from a common club area
  • A flexible seating bowl design that will allow the stadium to host a variety of concerts and events in one of the most intimate settings in professional sports.

Populous has designed more than 80 soccer stadiums around the globe including Wembley Stadium; Arsenals’ Emirates Stadium and a stadium in Natal, Brazil for the 2014 World Cup; it also designed the Colorado Rapids’ stadium and is designing a new stadium for the Houston Dynamo.

“We’ve taken the best of stadium design from around the globe and all that we know about delivering a great fan experience, advanced that to the next level, and the result is Sporting Park,” said Knight. “It’s the new American standard in soccer stadium design.” 

For further information please contact:
Gina Stingley at Populous
Telephone: 816 221 1500


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