The relevancy of sports, in our modern society, is undeniable.In addition to the amount of money invested and equally generated by the events themselves, as well as their corresponding merchandise and sponsorship opportunities,sports occupy a great deal of time and space,both within the physical world and across all forms of analog, digital, and social media.They span geographical borders and traverse ideological boundaries, connecting people across both miles and generations.Their stories are told and retold, through the ages, in order to inspire pride, exemplify glory, and instill heartache,in a manner akin to the most renowned tales of old. Heroes and villains live on forever,as legends, as do the memories made each time we are lucky enough to bear witness to the competitive game.
The stadium,the modern-day temple of the sports world,is the focal point of so much that is tied to the greatness and majesty of sport,as well as too much of its controversy, in the greater context of our society. No other building type carries with it such an inherent and passionate degree of sentiment and speculation.Regardless of their level of awareness, everyone is influenced, in some way, by the construction, operation, and maintenance of these structures and their auxiliary facilities.
Sports architecture is becoming an ever-more important issue,within the evolving global landscape of the 21st Century.Therefore, it is vital for the architect to be cognizant of the depth of humanity’s connection to sport,inorder to understand the magnitude of his design decisions on the larger urban environment,and to be able to adapt to the needs of the industry,as a whole. This thesis is meant to study all three ends by discussing the past, present, and potential future of sports and sports architecture.Through a survey of mega-events and contemporary projects, it will be possible to examine historical precedents, as well as present trends. Hopefully,through understanding of the issues currently facing the industry, we may begin to consider further, more systematized methods of design and construction, with which we may be able to provide for a more universally-accessible model for future success.