The City of Inglewood in Southern California has announced a plan to add a 1.8-mile automated people mover (APM) connecting the forthcoming Los Angeles Rams stadium and the region’s growing transit network in the near future. A recently-unveiled scoping study called Envision Inglewood calls for establishing a “direct connection to rail” between downtown Inglewood and the city’s impressive slate of professional sports and performance venues. Facilities that could be connected by the new transit route include: The Forum, the forthcoming Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, and the recently-unveiled Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center, a potential new basketball stadium for the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team. The new $2.66 billion Rams stadium is designed by HKS Architects and will be joined by a 3,000-unit mixed-use residential development next door known as “City of Champions.” The Forum was designed by Charles Luckman Associates in 1966 in the late modern style; The complex is slated to host the gymnastic events for the 2028 Olympic Games. The Envision Inglewood plan was crafted in conjunction with a series of other transportation and pedestrian fixes. The plan considers four different alignments and a handful of transport modes in its aim to provide a “world-class transit connection to-and-from the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line” transit route, an 8.5 mile light rail line connecting the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, and El Segundo through southern Los Angeles County slated to open in 2019. According to a presentation made at the Inglewood City Council, the report’s chosen route—dubbed the “Market-Manchester” alignment—would add the APM link starting from the forthcoming Downtown Inglewood stop on the Crenshaw Line. The elevated train would snake down Market Street and Manchester Boulevard, ultimately ending up on South Prairie street where it can conveniently stop at the three stadium and performance venue locations. Renderings for the proposed plan depict lively street scenes overlooked by elevated train tracks on concrete piers. Projections for the line envision up to 2,578,120 potential boardings across the APM route per year, with slightly less than 40% of all boardings related to “event ridership.” According to the report, the link could cost $614.4 million to build and between $18.2 million and $19.5 million to operate each year. A timeline for the project’s completion has not been announced. The new football stadium is scheduled to open for the 2019-2020 NFL season.
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After having already unveiled plans to develop Jacksonville's Shipyard district, the Kansas-based firm Populous has released plans for their Jacksonville Jaguars' Amphitheater and Flex Field project. With steel bridges that stretch over the St. John’s River, Populous, as they say on their website, are intent on delivering "an icon to the City of Jacksonville." Populous specializes in stadia, sports facilities and event architecture. https://player.vimeo.com/video/153512721 The firm has already released their plans to transform the Shipyard district into a space for recreation and entertainment, a scheme also backed by the Jaguars' owner Shahid Khan. There, the plan is to rejuvenate the area and kick-start a fruitful period of economic activity. Now Khan has his eyes set on developing his teams stadium vicinity. The area appears to be a happy hunting ground for the firm. In 1995, they designed what the New York Times called the "nation’s most luxurious locker room." An undulating prefabricated canvas spans the "flex field" whose roofscape is supported by a series of long-span steel trusses, sloped columns, and an array of cables. Multipurpose arenas are almost an economic necessity for the contemporary stadium typology and Populous' scheme is no exception. The canvas roof system also allows the space to be brought to life with "dramatic" LED lighting when used for entertainment purposes, while also doubling up as a football training facility.
This year's 50th Super Bowl could be extra special to those who can somehow get their hands on Microsoft's HoloLens. Though not yet available to the public, the tech giant has unveiled an NFL-based concept that would bring the players and the stadium into your living and even onto your coffee table. The technology would work through gestures, similar to Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox. In the video below, users can be seen bringing up player stats, holograms of the actual stadium including relevant information like weather (forecasts and current), and attendance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKqzeoMCU0c The 3-D virtual reality engine will enable players to appear as if they are coming through walls and allow for the football field to be beamed onto a coffee table. Even though Microsoft debuted its concept last year, the idea does sadly remain in concept form. Virtual reality, however, is nothing new to the architecture profession. Last year AN reported that Tsoi/Kobus & Associates was using the Oculus Rift system to place clients into computer generated 3D renderings. The software was used to deliver a more immersive feel of what the future space might look like. In practice, clients can walk round virtual buildings using Revizto, a cloud system, which architects can invite their clients to use. That said, progress with the technology remains slow as according to Luis Cetrangolo, the architect responsible for implementing the idea, users have begun to feel dizzy after just five minutes of usage.
St. Louis–based SPACE Architecture + Design has release a series of renderings for a speculative Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium for downtown St. Louis. This proposal comes in the wake of news that the NFL’s St. Louis Rams football team would be leaving St. Louis for Los Angeles, and subsequently not building a new stadium along the Mississippi River. Sports buzz has picked up again about a possible MLS team making its home in the city. Since the news that the city would be losing the professional football team, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and State Governor Jay Nixon have continued to discuss the possibility of an expansion team in St. Louis. SPACE initiated the discussion of what a major league stadium would look like within their office two years ago when rumors of MLS’s interest in the city started to spread and fans began grassroots efforts to attract a team. In a discussion with AN, Alex Ihnen of SPACE explained the office’s motivations behind preemptively presenting the city with a stadium plan. “We think too often politicians and people who are excited think about money, they think about how we are going to pay for this, where do the taxes come from," he said. "That is their domain, but our domain as architects is to figure out how can this add to the city, which is bigger. It is important to get out ahead of this” The offices proposal involves a sunken field directly south of the historic Union Station. Union Station itself is under redevelopment. Located along Clark Street, SPACE envisions its proposal as a part possible downtown sports corridor, which would include the Major League Baseball Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Scottrade Center, home of the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. And though the proposal is an unsolicited speculation, the discussion of funding a stadium is already being taken seriously by state legislators. A ballot initiative has been presented by State Rep. Keith English to incur a one tenth of one percent sales tax in St. Louis and St. Louis County. The bill is written as to try and avoid a similar fiasco as the current Rams stadium, Edward Jones Dome, which has not been fully paid for despite the team leaving the city.
A suspicious Instagram post and confirmation by Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) head of communications that the firm is designing an NFL stadium have everyone wondering if Ingels will be designing for the Washington Redskins. Although specifics on which NFL team and what the design will entail have yet to be confirmed, the architect recently tweeted burgundy, gold, and white M&Ms with Redskins logos. Sources say that designs for the stadium will be released within the next month. The Danish firm has never designed a sports facility, but it is also on a shortlist for another type of football team—the FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium in Spain. Ingels told WWD in November that his team plans to magnify the stadium experience. “It could represent a paradigm change in stadium design whereas at some point it was only about being better, or just bigger. Now there is a whole set of aspects,” Ingels said. “There’s interest, since the televised experience is getting so good. TVs are getting so good and big, and there are all these things you can do with them. The thing we’ve emphasized is the entire experience and the intimacy of the whole experience to make the live feeling and the communal feeling as massive as possible.”
HOK last week released new renderings of a speculative stadium on the banks of the Mississippi River—the latest in the saga of the NFL's Rams franchise as it mulls leaving St. Louis for its original home, Los Angeles. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke last year bought 60 acres next to the Forum in Inglewood and has announced plans to build an HKS-designed, 80,000-seat stadium there. In St. Louis, a city-appointed task force replied with a 64,000-seat, open-air stadium designed by HOK and 360 Architecture on which they have staked “the reinvention of St. Louis’ city center.” The latest renderings don't show many changes, but do offer a bit more detail on how the Rams' St. Louis home would look, should they choose to stay. Earlier this month a judge approved the use of public money for the project, although many have criticized such pursuits, noting thin evidence that subsidies for sports franchises have any positive impact on municipal economies. NOTE: (HOK completed the acquisition of 360 Architecture in early 2015 and they are now one firm. HOK recently launched a new Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice.)
Last year Minneapolis broke ground on a major mixed-use development centered around a park next to the under-construction stadium that will house the Minnesota Vikings football team. Now dubbed “The Commons,” the 4.2-acre park was the subject of a public meeting last week, at which its design came into clearer focus. Designed by San Francisco's Hargreaves Associates, the site has a lot going on, in the words of MinnPost's Marlys Harris: “a café, promenades, a Great Lawn, a lesser lawn, a water feature, play areas for kids, a stage, garden-y places, trees (of course), places to compete at bocce and chess, kiosks, an ice rink in winter, tables with umbrellas, moveable chairs, public art and benches and terraces where public snogging could occur.” It will also accommodate fan festivals and other Vikings-related events on game days. Hargreaves fielded a reported 2,750 survey responses while designing the park, whose budget is projected at $22 million. Only a small portion of that has been raised, and public officials have said the space will be financed by private donations. As public discussion of the democratically designed space continues, budget adjustments may align with Harris' call "to survey the public on what they could live without." One remaining question is whether Portland Avenue, which currently bisects the park site, will remain open to automobile traffic.
Missouri's football fans are savoring plans for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis, but it remains unclear if the HOK-led designs will be enough to keep the Rams from leaving. In January fans of the St. Louis Rams got new reason to fear their football team might depart when owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build an HKS-designed 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood. Twenty years after the NFL team left L.A. in the first place, they may well move back—but not if St. Louis officials and fans have their way. New renderings released in March give more substance to plans that could woo the Rams into staying: a football and soccer stadium on the banks of the Mississippi River designed by St. Louis–based HOK. The National Football League has said no team relocations will happen this year, but either stadium plan could be ready for construction in 2016.
Are you ready for some football stadiums? Los Angeles gets even more proposals for its yet-unsecured NFL team
Just when we thought Los Angeles' football stadium craziness had cooled down, the owners of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have unveiled plans for a 72,000 seat, $1.7 billion stadium on a 168-acre site in Carson—which should soon be on that city's ballot—while Inglewood City Council approved a measure to build a stadium for the (for now) St. Louis Rams, originally floated by Rams' owner Stan Kroenke. The firm behind the Carson stadium, MANICA Architecture, is also designing a new arena for the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco's Mission Bay. The architect of the Rams' stadium is HKS. That office's plan would include an 80,000 seat stadium and a 6,000 seat performance venue, both part of a mixed-use development on the site of Hollywood Park. Showing how serious it is about moving an NFL team to LA, the NFL has launched a "Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities," to "oversee the application of the relocation guidelines in the event that one or more clubs seek to move to Los Angeles. A half-dozen Southern California stadium proposals have been pitched in the past three years, although only the two most recent are attached to specific teams. Other proposals have been suggested for City of Industry, Downtown LA, Elysian Park, the Rose Bowl, and the Los Angeles Coliseum. The NFL has not had a team in Los Angeles since the Rams and Raiders both left after the 1994 season.
St. Louis' NFL franchise, the Rams, left Los Angeles in 1994. Twenty years later they're mulling a move back, but not without a fight from the residents of their new Midwestern home. Last week plans for a new arena on the banks of the Mississippi River upped the ante, promising Rams fans 64,000 seats and an open-air stadium designed by HOK and 360 Architecture that a city-appointed task force called “the crown jewel of the reinvention of St. Louis’ city center”. L.A., where the Rams were founded and played for nearly 50 years, offers an 80,000-seat stadium designed by HKS. The Associated Press said last week that billionaire Rams owner Stan Kroenke wasn't returning calls from St. Louis city officials. In November Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock and Attorney Bob Blitz to lead a task force on the new stadium proposed for the North Riverfront area of downtown. Their plan, released Friday, said “the new stadium will impose no new tax burden on taxpayers in the local region or the State of Missouri”. It proposes bridging I-44 to link the Edward Jones Dome with St. Louis' Great Rivers Greenway network and the CityArchRiver grounds, where the city's iconic Gateway Arch and Museum of Western Expansion are undergoing a massive renovation and expansion. If approved, the stadium, which would also play host to Major League Soccer games, would start construction in 2016 and be ready for games in 2020. That is, if St. Louis still has a team; The National Football League has said no team relocations will happen this year.
After years of, ahem, false starts, it's looking very possible that the NFL will be returning to Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who bought 60 acres next to the Forum in Inglewood last year, has announced plans to build an HKS-designed 80,000-seat stadium and a 6,000-seat performance venue as part of the 300-acre Hollywood Park site. He's teaming up with Stockbridge Capital Group on what's being labeled the "City of Champions" Revitalization Project. Stockbridge is now building a mixed-use development there with developer Wilson Meany and designers Mia Lehrer + Associates, Hart Howerton Architects & Planners, BCV Architects, SWA, and others. The Rams left Los Angeles in 1994, while the Raiders took off for Oakland the next year, leaving the city teamless for almost two decades. Kroenke has been outspoken about his unhappiness with his club's current stadium, the Edward Jones Dome, and St. Louis is expected to give the owner a new offer by the end of this month. If that doesn't pan out, the new stadium (and the surrounding "City of Champions" Revitalization Project) could be on the Inglewood ballot later this year, and the scheme could be complete by 2018. Inglewood recently reopened the Forum, so momentum is building. Meanwhile efforts for stadiums in Downtown LA and City of Industry remain on hold until another team steps in.
While the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering moves ahead with its competition for a $350 million renovation and expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the NFL is threatening to make those plans obsolete. According to NBC Sports, a league source has confirmed that the NFL will send one or even two teams back to LA within the next one to two years. Two favorites include the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders. If the NFL comes to town then AEG's plans for a new downtown stadium (by Gensler) and convention center expansion (by Populous) may follow. Of course a team could just as easily move to a site being floated near Hollywood Park, in Chavez Ravine, and in City of Industry. As of now the city has shortlisted AC Martin/LMN, Gensler/Lehrer Architects, and HMC/Populous for the convention center. No word from the Bureau of Engineering at this point. Stay tuned as we try to make sense of all this.