Stadia


Stadium Upgrades Squeezing Out Brazil's Poorer Fans

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Date: 
May 5, 2011
Generations of Brazilians have grown up in the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, known around the world as the Maracanã. Built for the 1950 World Cup and at the time the largest stadium in the world, it became an instant national landmark, a symbol of Brazil’s soccer-centric culture.

Luxury boxes, modern seating and safety improvements are reasons Brazil’s stadiums are changing as the country prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The stadium, which is likely to host the 2014 World Cup opener and final, is flanked by hills and favelas, the city’s notoriously poor slums. Far above, from behind the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, the distant Maracanã looks like a still birdbath amid the pulsing metropolis.

Benefits and Burdens in Post-World Cup South Africa

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August 2, 2010
The 2010 World Cup has ended in South Africa. What's left behind are a number of physical and cultural legacies that will be both landmark developments and potential economic hazards.

There are no vuvuzelas. The plastic horns had been blaring at random throughout the city of Johannesburg for the entire month of the 2010 World Cup, which has just finished here in South Africa. They were even blaring the month before the Cup started -- in the middle of the morning, out of car windows on the freeway, inside the city's endless shopping malls. But now that it's over, the loud honk that had become a part of the city's background static has faded out.

Out-of-This-World Cup Stadia in South Africa

Date: 
June 11, 2010
A look at four interesting stadia designed for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and their uncertain futures after the Cup.

Americans do like soccer, contrary to what many around the world believe. American architects, though? Hard to say. But even for the most soccer-agnostic architects, there are four good reasons to watch — or at least glancingly pay attention to — this year’s World Cup in South Africa. Four of the 10 stadia designed or renovated for this year’s quadrennial World Cup really are worth checking out beyond the context of international soccer matches.

London's Big Stadium Gamble

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Date: 
June 30, 2009
The Olympics can be awesome for cities. Or they can be devastating. Rarely they're both, and most often they are an economic drain caused by over-investment in facilities with limited long-term usability. So when London announced plans for a 2012 Summer Olympics stadium that would reduce from 80,000 seats during the games to a more realistically usable 25,000 seats after, Olympics experts, city officials and taxpayers rejoiced. But recent news has turned that rejoice to disgust.

London Olympics officials are now flipping a sharp U-turn, calling to revise plans for the stadium to keep the 80,000 seats permanently. Margaret Ford, the new head of the Olympic legacy team, is confident the stadium will be able to pull in crowds all year, and is leading the charge to make permanent what has for years been designed as temporary.

In fact, the stadium is already under construction. This late-stage program change is bound to throw a wrench into the renderings of designer Populous (formerly HOK Sport).

Who Really Needs A World Cup

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Date: 
April 16, 2009
Whether you've realized it yet or not, soccer is a big deal in this gloabalizing world. And every four years it's a huge deal for one country: the host of the FIFA World Cup.

All eyes are on the host country for the 32-team tournament, which is the most-watched sporting event in the world. And though showtime is just one month long, the host spends years vying, preparing and investing for the tournament. It has major potential to spur broad countrywide improvements and economic development. So when the U.S. made news recently by offering forth 70 stadia as possible host sites for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup (along with a reputation booster from President Barack Obama), I had to filter out my national pride. Sure, the U.S.