Post game: Reappropriating America's jettisoned stadia
Master of Architecture
The politics and economics of professional sports in the U.S. have managed to shorten the effective lifespan of stadia to that of a wood frame house. The multi-purpose stadium in particular has come to be targeted for eradication as team owners coerce cities into building single-use facilities and forcing their predecessors into obsolescence. This is largely done with municipal funds, and at a time when spending on all other infrastructure languishes. These are publicly-owned facilities that have historically served as great social condensers in their often suburban settings. These stadiums have demonstrated flexibility far beyond their original goals. They have also become points of reference for their respective cities. To many they represent those cities. Their demolition is largely a function of skewed economies and narrow valuation. The adaptive re-use of these stadia is the key to re-activating their urban function and changing the way we value them.