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All posts tagged arena design

LA Forum relaunch will be Californian celebration by the Eagles

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The Forum in Los Angeles will open on 15 January 2014 following a $100 million revitalisation. Just over one year after The Madison Square Garden Company acquired the Forum in Inglewood, California, the company announced its extensive plans for the venue including working with Chase as Presenting Partner. James L. Dolan, Executive Chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company, said:

Since we first explored the opportunity to acquire the Forum and expand The Madison Square Garden Company’s presence on the West Coast, our vision has been clear: return the venue to its celebrated position as one of the most beloved and well-known venues in the country for the benefit of the community, fans and performers for generations to come

Irving Azoff, the Eagles’ manager and founder of Azoff Music Management, stated:

The Forum is an iconic Southern California landmark and with the vision of The Madison Square Garden Company is sure to become the world’s quintessential music-focused venue. Since the 1970s, the Eagles have a long and rich history with the Forum. The building has played an important role in the growth and development of the band from their early Southern California roots to becoming a worldwide touring phenomenon. With its unsurpassed acoustics and warm intimate arena experience, it’s always been the band’s favorite building to perform in and we’re anxiously looking forward to kicking off the next era of the Forum this January.

The Forum expands MSG’s footprint to the West Coast, and adds a seventh venue to the company’s portfolio of venues. The Forum will book a broad scope of events with a focus on music and entertainment, including concerts, family productions, award shows, television/film productions, as well as a few select sporting events.

BBB Architects is directing the Forum revitalisation, which is inspired by the venue’s original 1967 design, and includes upgrades to the entire venue site. Architecturally, the interior of the bowl will be completely modernized and feature flexible seating, ranging from 17,500 seats to 8,000 seats, enabling the venue to attract a wide variety of events. The arena will be updated with state-of-the-art, technically advanced support systems featuring a unique ‘sky deck’ to accommodate the largest touring concerts, productions and events. Fans will enjoy one of the largest general admission floors in the country, with approximately 8,000 square feet of new event level hospitality offerings, including food and beverage, merchandise and bathrooms. A tinted glass wall will separate this concession area from the arena floor; ensuring fans do not miss a moment of the performance.

Forum VIP customers will have access to the historic Forum Club, which will be completely re-imagined with thematic music-inspired detailing, and the new Chase Lounge.

The Madison Square Garden Company claims that the new Forum, designed with artists in mind, will have seven star-calibre dressing rooms that feature upgraded amenities.There will be a dedicated area for production and touring crews, which will include an exclusive dining space.

Among the key features that will be resurrected in an effort to replicate the original design is the exterior colour of the venue, which will be repainted to the 1960’s California sunset red.

The 40,000 square foot outdoor terrace surrounding the perimeter of the building will offer upgraded food and beverage amenities to elevate the guest experience. A distinct and iconic Forum marquee that reflects the architecture of the venue will be located at Manchester and Prairie.

Bristol arena project gets council funding

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Bristol is having a second try at building an arena, with the backing of Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The proposed site, known as the Diesel Depot, has received clean-up funding of £11 million from the Homes and Communities Agency. The proposed 11,000-seater (cost £80 million) would be in the heart of Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone (pictured). The city council has budgeted £250,000 for preliminary work and appointed AECOM as cost consultant and agent on the scheme.

Elected mayor George Ferguson has said that there will be a design competition. Council Project Director for the arena Stuart Woods said:

We are delighted to appoint AECOM as cost consultants on the scheme, and we look forward to working with them as the project develops.

A previous arena project by the South West Regional Development Agency was abandoned.

Rupp Arena design selection in progress

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Four architectural groups (Space Group, AECOM, Omni; HKS, JRS; NBBJ, EOP; Populous, Sherman Carter Barnhart) are vying to take the lead in designing a renovated Rupp Arena as part of a redevelopment plan that includes the convention centre and surrounding city blocks. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said:

It’s a real tribute to Lexington and the quality of the project to get these kinds of firms. The four have demonstrated they have the imagination to reinvent Rupp Arena and ignite the surrounding blocks with a new level of excitement and activity.

Five other architectural firms responded to a proposal from the Lexington Center Corp. to bid on designing a new convention centre. Five construction management bids were received to build the projects. Most of the 14 firms teamed with Kentucky architectural and construction companies in making their bids.

Frank Butler, director of the Rupp District Project, said the firms have done the vast majority of arenas and convention centres in the United States. A selection committee appointed by the Lexington Center Corp. will interview the firms in the next few weeks and make their recommendations to the Lexington Center board of directors. Final selections are expected in July with a view to an immediate start.

Early design idea for Rupp Arena.

Early design idea for Rupp Arena.

National Indoor Arena begins refurb

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Work on the £26m redevelopment of Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena (NIA) will commence this month, following the appointment of contractor BAM Construction.

Phil Mead, Managing Director of Arenas, NEC Group, said:

This redevelopment is vital in ensuring we continue to attract world-class artists to Birmingham in a competitive global marketplace, giving promoters, visiting artists and our audience the best possible experience.

The redevelopment of the NIA is responding to the changing expectations from audiences on their pre and post show experience; as well as interaction at the venue before and after events, and the sharing of experiences on social media, they want great food and beverage offerings, comfort, the latest technology and a great sense of arrival as part of their visit.

Phase 1 in 2013 will centre on the redevelopment of key backstage areas of the NIA, including control room, medical and storage facilities, as well as production offices, crew catering facilities and dressing rooms – offering the latest in technology and first-class facilities for promoters and artists.

Phase 2 in 2014 will move into a further period of redevelopment work, including hospitality suites, concourse expansion, improved circulation areas and – most significantly – the new external façade of the NIA. The NIA redevelopment is due for completion in winter 2014.

With full backing by Birmingham City Council as part of their Big City Plan, the modernisation of the NIA will take advantage of its unique location on the city’s canal side.

The most dramatic element will be a new glass-fronted façade and Front of House Showcase straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, creating a dynamic arrival for visitors and adding 5,926 sqm of pre/post show space into the 13,437 sqm of redevelopment. Iconic ‘Sky Needles’ on top of the NIA will add to the skyline of Birmingham and light up at night.

Standing capacity for the NIA will increase to circa 15,000 and seating capacity to 12,500.

Enhanced hospitality/food and beverage offers and seven-days-a-week retail outlets will all add value to the visitor experience. The flow within the NIA will be made much easier, increasing the ease of access and comfort for promoters and visitors alike.

All areas of the NIA will be touched by the redevelopment – from front of house through to backstage. The dressing rooms will be completely transformed to provide a 5 star experience for visiting artists.

On the appointment of BAM, just coming off the Leeds Arena project, as contractor after two stages of tender, Mead said:

BAM Construction presented a most compelling case which resulted in them being awarded the main contract and we look forward to working in partnership with them to make the Future NIA a reality.

Artist’s impression of the redeveloped NIA, Birmingham.

Artist’s impression of the redeveloped NIA, Birmingham.


Ulker Sports Arena gives up its secrets at Stadia & Arena Istanbul

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Delegates at Stadia & Arena 2013 in Istanbul went on a behind the scenes tour as part of  the opening reception, in which Ulker Sports Arena insiders revealed some of the secrets of its successful first year. AEG staff explained the inner workings while those involved in its development held presentations.

Don Dethlefs from sports architect Sink Combs Dethlefs explained the arena’s flexibility:

The arena can curtain off the upper tier for more intimate shows with about 6,000-7,000 capacity. They can stage a 360 degree or 270 degree concert. A half-house divides the floor and is suitable for theatrical events. We worked with the Turkish engineer to get a roof truss that can hold 70 tonnes of equipment, enough for the biggest shows.

We designed the bowl for European basketball where the seats have to be further back. In the States we put them right up to the court. But here we raised the first tier up so that three rows can be added in front for NBA basketball while retaining great sightlines. We designed the locker and changing rooms, working with AEG, to accommodate smaller events as well as the larger.

DDG’s Jim Andreone painted the bigger picture. Based on the arena’s ability to stage many different types of events, it will become the anchor for the Alpella Youth City.

It’s an arena-anchored lifestyle city. The O2 in London and Staples Center and O2 World Berlin are precursors of this project but don’t have true retail. There will be an open air events plaza, 240-room hotel. Lifestyle normally means half of the mix is restaurants and cinemas.

To make that work, you need 200 events per year to get enough people to come to the arena zone. You also need a lot of space and Madison Square Gardens teaches us about underground parking – there are two levels here – and getting a lot of people in and out.

Andreone noted the 2,000 capacity training arena and the ability to hold two events simultaneously (recently a concert at the arena and a women’s basketball playoff at the mini arena) to bring the necessary numbers. Ulker Group is planning the correct programme mix before beginning construction.

Various companies who have contributed to Ulker Arena, from seating (all upholstered except for the retractable bleachers at one end), to incident management software to the removable court (turned over 27 times since opening), also made presentations.

AEG has filled the arena, which provides an eastern leg for major tours around Europe, with top concert acts and family shows to complement its basketball sport tenant.


Don Dethlefs

Don Dethlefs

Jim Andreone

Jim Andreone


Delegates at Stadia & Arena tour the building with AEG staff

Delegates at Stadia & Arena tour the building with AEG staff




Warriors SF waterfront arena design update

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The Warriors NBA team has unveiled new detailed designs for the proposed San Francisco waterfront arena and nearby development. Public hearings in the coming weeks may determine if the arena gets built in the waterfront location or not.

Craig Dykers of architect Snøhetta, which was selected along with AECOM to design the project, said the new plans include a walkway that encircles the pier, more open space on the raised area surrounding the arena, and pedestrian access that continues up the arena itself with a ramp that wraps around the facility.

The design also now incorporates some very large areas of transparent glass that give views out toward the waterfront.

Warriors' arena design features views of San Francisco's waterfront.

Warriors’ arena design features views of San Francisco’s waterfront.

Leeds Arena hailed as civic success

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The Leeds Arena site has been handed over from Leeds City Council to the operators, SMG, to start the interior fit-out process, marking the end of the construction phase. Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

We want Leeds to be the best city in the UK and delivering this hugely-imaginative and highly-ambitious project on time and on budget in an incredibly-challenging economy demonstrates without doubt that we mean business.

Our arena project is a superb example of the pivotal role a local authority can play in enabling a city’s transformation. It is bringing jobs, investment and visitors to our city and I cannot speak highly enough of the dedication, flair and sheer hard work that have been the hallmark of the Leeds Arena scheme, from inception right through to completion.

SMG will now manage the task of equipping Leeds Arena with bars, restaurants, staff and ticketing offices and star facilities, preparing the arena to welcome visitors, beginning with one Bruce Springsteen in July.

The design of Leeds Arena overcomes the challenges of a tight city centre location.

The design of Leeds Arena overcomes the challenges of a tight city centre location.


Companies involved in the project include BAM, Arup, Populous, IPW and Davis Langdon. Arup defined the acoustic envelope solution, a significant factor in the technical and commercial viability of the project. Leeds Arena is surrounded by sensitive residential accommodation, creating unusually tight constraints on environmental noise breakout for a venue of this type. Arup’s multi-disciplinary team developed a high performance yet cost-effective facade and roof system to minimise low-frequency noise breakout.

Arup also provided planning services direct to Leeds City Council along with a technical audit role to tender, and delivered full engineering services including: civil and structural, MEP, acoustics, fire, BREEAM and specialist lighting.

Sacramento versus Seattle

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The unofficial race to host NBA basketball between Sacramento and Seattle continues an interesting arena development tit for tat. Chris Hansen’s arena in Seattle is well ahead in terms of development, with two phases identified and negotiations with the downtown site neighbours some way down the line.

Sacramento has rejected funds for a new arena once but the council later approved a non-binding term sheet calling for a $258m subsidy of a $448m arena. It is now showing designs – courtesy of architect AECOM – of the possible new venue, with land donated by the city. The project appears to face the same objectors as with previous proposals.

The NBA has said that the fate of the Kings franchise will be decided in the first week of May. A full vote of league owners will happen after a relocation committee issues its report and recommendations.

Rendering of possible Sacramentio arena, courtesy AECOM

Rendering of possible Sacramentio arena, courtesy AECOM