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Arena Zabrze is a modern football stadium complex with a 24,563-seat capacity; the only facility of its kind in the region of Silesia, southern Poland. The stadium has recently undergone complete redevelopment, with substantial renovation of the exterior structure and spectator stands.

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Minnesota United video promoting the new stadium.

Continuing the development process of its future Major League Soccer (MLS) home, Minnesota United FC announced Populous as the lead architect for the new soccer stadium at the Snelling and I-94 site generally known as the Midway.

Nick Rogers, president of Minnesota United FC said:

We are very pleased to formalise our relationship with Populous, a global leader in stadium design.

We have been having conversations with Bruce Miller and his team over the past two years and have every confidence that they are the right group to help us realise our vision of a world-class soccer stadium in the Twin Cities.

The Kansas City-based sports architecture firm – recognised for its focus on environmentally sustainable projects – is a world leader in stadium design and event- based projects. Populous has created world-class soccer stadiums for top-tier clubs throughout the world, including Sporting KC (MLS), Olympique Lyonnais (FRA), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Arsenal (ENG), C.F. Monterrey (MEX), and the 2010 World Cup Final stadium in Johannesburg.

Populous was the lead architect on local several local stadium projects – including Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium – which have received national recognition for enhancing sporting events by creating environments that draw people and communities together. Some of their other impressive projects include Wimbledon’s Main Stadium, the stadiums for the 2000 Sydney and 2012 London Olympic Games, the new Yankee Stadium in New York City, and renovation projects for Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, Camden Yards in Baltimore, and Wembley Stadium in London.

Bruce Miller, Senior Principal at Populous and lead architect for Minnesota United’s new stadium said:

It’s an honour to have the opportunity to design another memorable sports experience for the Twin Cities. Major League Soccer has found a great home in St. Paul and our design team is excited about the opportunities to create a mixed-use entertainment destination that will thrive year-round.  The site’s central location, access to public transit and exposure on I-94 make it a model site for a Major League Soccer venue. As a building block in growing the Minnesota United brand, the stadium will become the heart and soul of soccer in the northern Midwest.

Populous is currently in the process of designing the new stadium for Orlando City SC (MLS).

Minnesota United was awarded an MLS franchise earlier this year in a highly competitive process that put Minneapolis – St. Paul ahead of other major markets in the United States. The club later announced its commitment to building a new, privately-financed soccer stadium at the Snelling-Midway site in St. Paul. The stadium is scheduled to be completed in early 2018.

FC Dallas, along with U.S. Soccer, the Frisco Independent School District and the City of Frisco, have unveiled plans for a USD$39m Toyota Stadium project featuring more than 100,000sqft of renovated space, new locker rooms, premium seats, a private club and the National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum.

Renovations on the south end of Toyota Stadium facing Main Street will begin in early 2016, with a proposed completion date in late 2017. While that means no seating in the south end for two full MLS season, the stadium is set to have a soft opening on December 15, 2017 and should be up and running for the 2018 MLS season, according to FC Dallas President Dan Hunt.

The project features multiple upgrades to the 10-year-old stadium but has received national attention for the inclusion of the National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum. No other major national sports hall of fame museum is built into a stadium.

On the top level of the three-level renovation, the 24,000sqft museum and event centre will be ‘home’ to U.S. Soccer hardware, including the Women’s World Cup, Gold Cup and Lamar Hunt US Open Cup trophies, as well as Olympic medals and memorabilia from the historic US win over England in the 1950 World Cup, among other memorabilia and trophies. Toyota Stadium will also become the permanent site for the annual National Soccer Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Padded seating in the south end will be covered by a roof and include pre-game dining inside a private club featuring views into the player hallway and out to the field.

The concourse level will feature a 7,000sqft outdoor party deck with an outdoor bar, concession stands and a new team store. Upgraded HD video boards and a new sound system will improve fan experiences, while a new skyway connecting the West side suites to the premium amenities on the South end will make navigating the stadium simple.

dallas toyota upgrade HOF_Renderings store

The project includes new locker rooms with tunnels on each corner of the south end, with the locker rooms available to be configured into four separate soccer dressing rooms or combined into two larger rooms for American football events.

Frisco Mayor, Maher Maso, said

Our partnerships with Frisco ISD, FC Dallas, Toyota Stadium and now U.S. Soccer, are important to the City of Frisco for many reasons. Our community takes great pride in being home to these quality developments, which promote tourism, business development, fitness and even our city’s brand. Toyota Stadium and the National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum help us meet all these goals. The planned stadium improvements benefit our residents, students and visitors, whether they’re engaged in a school event, tournament, concert, attending a college football or professional soccer game.

Team owner William McGuire and Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman have confirmed that the MLS team and city will work together – along with key partners at the state and local level including a community advisory committee – to build a nearly 20,000-capacity soccer stadium at the Snelling-Midway site in Saint Paul.

McGuire said:

By all measures important to soccer fans throughout the Twin Cities metro and the state, as well as the needs of the team and Major League Soccer, this is a great location for an iconic soccer facility that will house the MLS franchise in Minnesota.

Located between two great downtowns, situated along multiple transit options and the interstate, and in the heart of a dynamic community, this site provides us the opportunity to work in partnership with the city of Saint Paul and the local community to establish top-tier professional soccer that will be readily accessible to everyone.

Minnesota United were awarded an MLS franchise in March. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said:

Today we are one step closer toward the debut of Major League Soccer in Minnesota. We believe the Midway location will be a tremendous home for Minnesota’s new MLS club based on the site’s central location, close proximity to a diverse millennial population, and easy access to multiple modes of public transportation.

Mayor Coleman added:

Today is a great day for Saint Paul, for soccer and for the entire state. I am thrilled that the team wants to work with the community to build a stadium here in Saint Paul. A soccer stadium will provide an important catalyst for the redevelopment of the entire area – creating jobs, spurring housing and new commercial opportunities, and building on our commitment to transit oriented development. With an agreed framework for the construction of this stadium, we are confident that working with the community, our local and state partners and with one another, we can complete the process necessary to bring MLS to Minnesota.

McGuire and Coleman outlined a set of principles that will underpin stadium planning. The team reiterated that it will privately finance the estimated $120-million stadium, and that it will be publicly owned once construction is complete. The Saint Paul City Council and Ramsey County have also passed resolutions supporting a continuation of tax exempt status for the site, a measure that will need to be approved by the state legislature. Importantly, the parties agreed that facilitating redevelopment of the local area to create an even more vibrant community is a prerequisite for moving forward.

Saint Paul City Council is seeking applicants for a community advisory committee to guide the work of city staff and consultants as the project moves forward. The 15- to 20-person committee will be tasked with representing the broader interests of the community and providing input on the overall design and development decisions that will emerge. The local community will also be engaged through community open houses, Open Saint Paul (online engagement tool) and public hearings at both the Planning Commission and City Council.

Scunthorpe United unveils vision for £40 million football development

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A masterplan for a major out of town football and leisure development has been revealed by the Lincolnshire club, nicknamed The Iron. The 12,000 capacity all-seater Iron Arena is part of the vision for the overall development created by architecture and design practice Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) on a site near the club’s present Glanford Park ground.

The FWP plan also includes a 120-bed hotel, a multi-use indoor arena, community sports pitches, indoor and outdoor crown green bowling facilities and a potential transport interchange hub with a new rail station.

The new football stadium would have club and executive facilities, a gym, office space and areas for commercial development as well as a club venue and supporters’ bar. A sweeping curve on the main stand designed by FWP is enhanced by a striking truss which pays homage to Scunthorpe’s steelwork history. David Robinson, managing partner at FWP, said:

We have worked very hard to create a vibrant and modern development that will be a real asset to the community and the local economy. The proposed masterplan we have created for Scunthorpe United aims to provide a real destination venue for sport, leisure and entertainment for the local community.

We have worked closely with the club to create modern facilities that will be used by members of the community seven days a week, throughout the year, something we believe is vitally important for modern day sports venues. The football stadium we are proposing is really special and the design, with its sweeping curves is striking.

It will provide the club and its fans with fantastic facilities and we’ve designed the stands to ensure the supporters are close to the action on the pitch. It gives Scunthorpe United a vibrant, modern new home. The community sports pitches and the multi-use sports hall will provide fantastic facilities for people of all ages.

We’ve also looked at the transport links to the new stadium and the transport hub we are proposing includes park and ride facilities and a possible new train stadium. It all adds to the ease of access we envisage.

Soccer-specific stadium looks likely in Orlando, Florida

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The Orlando Lions soccer team is one Orange County Commission vote away from having its own stadium suitable for Major League Soccer (MLS). The Orlando City Council approved the use of Tourist Development Tax funds for multiple venues, including $20 million towards the proposed downtown soccer stadium. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told Orlando Business Journal:

We are really a soccer community. There’s not a MLS franchise in the south east United States and we would be the first. With the stadium, the renovated Citrus Bowl and the Amway Center, we can host almost any event you can possibly think of. We are going to be the sports entertainment capital of the United States.

The Lions play in the Citrus Bowl in the USL Pro league and the new $84 million soccer-specific stadium would help them become a MLS team for 2015. The team would be a tenant, paying $30 million towards construction and an annual rental for 25 years.

Picture (courtesy of Populous): Amway Center, Orlando.

Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium enters final stages of construction

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BAM has completed roof construction at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.

BAM has completed roof construction at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.

BAM International has placed the last roof trestle of the 25,000-seat Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, located in Al Ain (approximately 150 kilometres east of Abu Dhabi, close to the borders of Oman) and has started the cladding. BAM started the design/build project in mid-2012 and the stadium is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

BAM International is executing the project with contributions from sister companies BAM Sports, specialised in stadium construction, and BAM Contractors from Ireland. The scope of work includes the construction of a soccer stadium with a gross floor area of 45,000 square meters, a six-storey commercial building, a sports complex including kids’ club and infrastructural works comprising roads, car parking, playing fields, landscaping and other utility services covering the forthcoming phases of the developments.

The construction of the stadium is a combination of structural steel and reinforced concrete on piled foundations with aluminium and composite external cladding and a palm bowl envelope. The unique, complex geometry of the steel roof comprising 38 metres long steel trusses (each weighing 25 tons) covered with a PVC tensile membrane creates a shade over the pitch and seating terraces to protect football players and visitors from direct sunlight.

Hazza Bin Zayed stadium will be managed and operated by Al Ain Club Investment Company. The stadium design is inspired by the natural landscape of Al Ain and encompasses both traditional and innovative design. It will be the new home ground for Al Ain Football Club and the mixed use development will provide a central location for sports and football enthusiasts, families, friends and business to come together.