SSS Design ideas. Why are teh fans still so far from the action?

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by bostonsoccermdl, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Havent seen a thrread on this for awhile, although I admit I havent gone back that far.

    My point of bringing this up is that obviously, besides pocketing parking and concessions $$$$, using the stadium for off-season events, the main reason of having an SSS is to boost the atmosphere of the game in a manageable venue vs. a 60K vortex....

    This leaves me to my question: As nice as the HDC is, why are the fans still so far removed from the sidellines instead of being "on top" of the action?

    Not to start a "we should emulate the EPL" theme, but watching many games, the fans are literally eye level with players. You can see the expressions of the fans, and it looks much more like a solid product when it is set up this way....

    I understand security is an issue at some point, but I think the new SSS should try to get the fans on top of the field, if not ther reason to make it look better on TV....
     
  2. Blong

    Blong Member+

    Oct 29, 2002
    Midwest, the real one.
    I think the recessed playing field looks just fine on TV. They could have built the sidelines a little narrower at HDC, but they thought they wanted an 80 yard wide field. Turns out, they didn't.

    If I were to improve something about the HDC, it would be to find a way to make it look full when it is full. Sell SRO tickets. Tuck the club seats under a balcony, so that when the rich folks don't show up to their game, their empty seats are not 'center stage', in terms of crowd appearance.
     
  3. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    SSS Design ideas. Why are the fans still so far from the action?

    AEG got really greedy and overestimated demand for tix. There are just too many $45 seats and far too little demand for them. Put it this way: you can be right on the goal line, pay $45, or go over 3 feet and pay $30 bucks, or go over 15 feet and pay $22 bucks and getter a better view then $45. WWC final tix were $400 EACH!!

    Word out on the calle is that prices will go down next year.

    AS far as the field width, Sigi has requested the field be more narrow then originally planned. I wouldn't be surprised to see it at maximum width for the 1st playoff game vs. SJ, who is vulnerable to the counterattack and is used to playing at cramped Spartan.
     
  4. G Enriquez

    G Enriquez Member+

    Apr 1, 2002
    Tampa
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My kind of post,a subject near and dear to my heart. I am a big proponent of building our stadiums with the seats "on top of the action". I believe that the English style stadium is the kind to model our stadiums after. I don't necessarily think that the first row of seats should be below the field like at Old Trafford. But,if the first row of seats is 2-3 feet off the ground that would allow fans to feel like they're part of the game. Having been to stadiums in Europe(Anfield,Sclessin,Bernebau) and also to Crew,RFK and Blackbaud stadiums i can tell you that the sight lines a great.
     
  5. JCUnited

    JCUnited Member

    Oct 7, 2002
    South Bend, IN
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    L.A. didn't overestimate by much, as they have sold over 20,000 for almost every game there, and without having the exact numbers in front of me, the season average would probably be close to 23,000 or 24,000 for HDC.

    Cheaper tix won't hurt though.

    And I'm a big fan of the English style stands rather then the full bowl of our stadiums. Would love to see a Firehouse or United Park made with a stand on each side and no corner seating. At least one of our stadiums should be like this, IMO.
     
  6. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Any of you ever go to one of those great old English stadiums, buy a ticket down right at field level, and actually try to watch the game from there??


    Thought so.
     
  7. Sober Tom

    Sober Tom Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Glassboro, South Jer
    Club:
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    true, notice some of the new english stadiums being built, seats are farther away and placed higher from the ground.
     
  8. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    3 dates made 'em realize their error:

    June 7: they were giving tix away by the truckload b/c ppl were turned off by the prices

    The following 2 games: 18,000 and 13,000 (Wed. night).

    From there, the FO suddenly started having 2x1 promos, 2 kids for 1 adult in free, AYSO night, Faith Night, etc., all w/ significantly reduced prices.

    So, the average will be inflated by the ridiculous amount of deals thrown the fans way.
     
  9. Wolves_67

    Wolves_67 Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Pasadena, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The "eye level - right on top of the action" seating I see called for so much acutally SUCKS. You can't see what the hell is going on down there!
    HDC as well as other newer stadiums put a lot of time into sight lines and if you have sat in all different kinds of stadiums and locations in those stadiums you would soon not be such a fan of the "Highbury" seating arrangements.
     
  10. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is true.

    At Dragon Stadium, the GA seating at one end comes all the way down to field level. Believe me when I tell you that it sucks more than can possibly be imagined, and not just because it's at the end. You get absolutely no perspective and a horrible view.

    So I end up standing... a few rows up, which works out to about four or five feet off the ground.

    All the people who are clamoring for "all the way down to field level" are just interested in "how it might look on TV," not how much it would suck for the people who would be unfortunate enough to sit in those seats. As far as I'm concerned, the people who care more about the way something looks on TV than they do about the experience of people who are actually attending the games, can suck it.
     
  11. Scoey

    Scoey Member

    Oct 1, 1999
    Portland
    I sat in the first row of an NBA game once. It was horrible. I couldn't see anything. And what I could see was skewed and distorted. I can't imagine those fans in England that are "right on top of the action" have a very good view. I wouldn't want to sit there.

    That said, HDC seems to have a ridiculous amount of space between touch and the start of the seating. I still don't understand how that happened. Did Sigi really ask that the field dimensions be changed?
     
  12. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan New Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    Yep. I went to Selhurst Park (o.k., I admit I don't know how very old it is, but it does have ground view, which is the issue). Front row. I could just see over the seated security guard's head. I was spitting distance from the players on throw ins. It was one of my all time greatest soccer experiences ever.

    Thing is, a lot of people like being that close to the action. I've heard that in some places the price of those seats is lower because the demand is lower, than the prices of the seats 10 rows or so up. Great for me and great for those up a bit--we're both happy. Plus you can get more seating into the stadium without going up as high.

    As a practical consideration, and somewhat aethetic considerations as well, I agree with JCUnited that having 4 stands would be good, and could be done with sightlines and cost in mind. The idea here is that the stadiums may eventually need to be increased in size. Leaving the corners open would allow for this. Plus, modules could be put in for those games--e.g. All-Star game, MLS Cup, big int'l matches--to fill in the corners. The technology is there for this to be a reality in a good way. There would be 20,000 seats on a regular basis, creating demand for season tickets. When the big matches roll around, those season ticket holders would be rewarded by getting the best seats, while the more occasional fan would be sitting in the corners or paying a premium for the better seats.

    BTW, didn't Columbus do something like this it's first year? I seem to remember them adding seats somewhere for the big events, increasing capacity from 22,500 to 25,000.
     
  13. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    Ibrox.....

    MLS needs Ibrox........
     
  14. cl_hanley

    cl_hanley New Member

    Sep 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa
    Yes...and the field was narrowed. I preferred the field at its widest, but players and coach felt differently. And I wouldn't say there is a "ridiculous" amount of space between field of play and fans. In the corners especially, the players get quite close.

    The biggest thing you lose when at eye level with the players is the spacing between players. It's hard to determine how open a player is, how effective their off the ball runs are, and how plays are developing. It can be quite frustrating, and often times you find yourself watching the overhead jumbo tron to see the action, instead of the live game taking place right before you.
     
  15. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    BINGO! This is what I wanted to focus on.. I can see the "eye level" seeting sucking, but the distance from the sideline to the the actual stands is what gets me.. just get people closer to the action.....
     
  16. Kqql

    Kqql Member

    Sep 22, 2003
    Yep the distance between the sideline seatings and the actual soccer playing field is too much
    at the HDC.

    What do you expect from the architect/
    designer of Football Stadiums?
    What do they know about building a soccer stadium?

    Only American Company which builds soccer stadiums in Europe is HOK Sports and they understand the needs of soccer fans.

    HOK wasn't hired by AEG for Galaxy, and the final product shows the inexperience of the architect
    in relation to soccer field.

    Also, what's with the UGLY green paint on the 6+ foot walls at the HDC and the burnt out grass field?
    I think 3rd world countries have better soccer fields than HDC.

    HDC is o.k, not great.
     
  17. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Well, I expect them to do a little homework (hell through internet it takes 5 minutes), and I also expect the MLS to take this into account since "atmosphere" and the "appearance of attendance" seems like such an issue, and work with the builders..

    Look, I am no expert, but it seems like a common sense solution to creating a better overall product..
     
  18. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan New Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    I think one of the things I love about the eye-level seating is that I feel I can appreciate the game more on the level of the players. As a player myself, I'm looking for what they see, to try to get better myself.
     
  19. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So if you've got raised stands set close to the sideline, you've got....Spartan Stadium, where play along the near sideline disappears from view.

    I know there's a happy medium in there somewhere, but all in all I don't think the HDC is that bad. That green paint has got to go, though - I think it's the same shade of Hideously Awful Algae that the guys who designed the Seattle Seahawks uniforms chose.
     
  20. Kqql

    Kqql Member

    Sep 22, 2003
    MLS is run by an EX-NFL dude, what do expect, real soccer stadiums in the MLS?

    I doubt the people at AEG are that soccer savvy, they seem more to be sports and business savvy.
    ( why else would the actual soccer field be build so far from the sideline seatings at HDC, this would never happened if AEG or the designers had a clue, what a real soccer stadium should have.)
     
  21. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Damn right! A real stadium, run by real soccer people.

    Like the Stadio Olimpico - now that's what I call close to the field!

    [​IMG]

    Or maybe the Artemio Franchi - from the curva, it's like you're right on top of the field!*

    [​IMG]

    *Compared to if you were in, say, Spain.
     
  22. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Michael K,

    Yes those stadiums would be great if we had the fans to pack them, all enthusiastic, and cheering the time.

    The reason I am for a "slightly elevated, closer to the byline" field is that we dont have the fans yet, either in #'s or in spirit and I am trying to put forth ideas that get the fans into it more, and a product that looks better on TV....

    You dont know how many times I have heard from friends, randoms: "man,...look how empty the stands are in that game. MLS must be struggling.."

    It looks like a losing product to the non-soccer fan..
     
  23. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, the one and only point you've made abundantly clear is that you haven't read many of my posts, if you think that.

    Your example of world class stadiums....Old Trafford and the Nou Camp? Well holy shit, why don't we order a few of those up right away? How's about 10 for next season??

    There are plenty of examples of 'world-class' stadiums that don't hold 60-100,000 people, you know - though to see that, you'll have to get around to watching more than just the Champions League. Of course MLS should look at some of these new stadiums (the Madjeski, the ones in Huddersfield and Wigan I can't remember the names of, not to mention St. Jakob in Basel (one of my favorites), plus a whole load of others in Germany, Scandinavia and Asia) for some ideas. I imagine they've done so. Your comments that Garber is some sort of soccer heathen because he came from the NFL (a league that actually makes money in this country, and besides, the league has come back towards international conventions on his watch), and that's why the HDC and everything else here sucks, places you squarely out on the lunatic fringe.
     
  24. Kqql

    Kqql Member

    Sep 22, 2003
    The example you gave are of stadiums either build for Olympics or back in the 30's. most of the stadiums in Italy were build in the 20's and 30's and
    most of them were for multi use with tracks.

    Studio Olimpico was build with the 1960 Olympics in mind.

    Your are a typical MLS fan who thinks that MLS is a
    prefect league, and can do no wrong.

    Someone screwed up with the HDC, the
    sideline seats are too far away from the actual soccer playing field,

    Here are example of world class soccer stadiums.


    Here are example of world class soccer stadiums.
    1) Old Trafford.
    Field Size 116x76 yards or 106x69 meters
    Pic is from Stadiumguide.com
    http://stadiumguide.com
    [​IMG]

    2) Nou Camp.
    Pic is from Stadiumguide.com
    http://stadiumguide.com
    //stadiumguide.com/noucamp1.jpg
     
  25. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with all your basic points.

    I've thought about this one in particular, and have come to the conclusion that people who say that are just reinforcing their own preconceptions, actually. Sure, you can say that while watching an MLS game, but I've watched a lot of Italian, German and South American games that - due to the way the crowd was shot and miked - seemed like it was being played in a 2/3rds empty stadium (ok, so in a gigantic place like the Maracana or Morumbi it's possible that it was actually 2/3rds empty). The way the crowds in the EPL games on FSW are miked up, compared to those on the Bundesliga games right after, can be pretty apparent to me on a Saturday morning (and of course, the general proximity of the crowd to the field in the EPL enhances that feeling of excitement).
    For that matter, I've seen plenty of NFL games that seemed 'quiet' and dull, crowd-wise - but no one would say 'wow, they must be struggling', because no one comes with that preconception.
     

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