Movable seating

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Movable seating is a feature of some facilities like stadiums, often known as convertible stadiums, or moduable stadiums. It allows for the movement of parts of the grandstand to allow for a change of the playing surface shape. This allows games that use various shaped playing surfaces such as an oval field, for cricket and/or Australian rules football; or a rectangular field, for football (soccer), rugby league, rugby union, American football, and/or Canadian football; or a diamond field, for baseball; to be played in the same stadium. This is particularly useful in Australia and the United States, where various professional sports with varying field configurations are popular spectator pastimes. The process of conversion from one form to another is time consuming – depending on the stadium it can take from 8[1] to 80[2] hours. Many stadiums were built in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s to host both baseball and American football.

Stadiums with movable seating[edit]

ANZ Stadium showing a configuration of seating in progress.

Future stadiums with movable seating[edit]

  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, USA, a venue set to open in 2017 as the home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and the new Major League Soccer team Atlanta United, will have retractable lower-bowl seats along the sidelines. This will allow an appropriate playing area for soccer, whose regulation field is nearly 20 meters wider than that of American football.
  • U Arena, currently under construction in another Paris suburb, Nanterre, as the new home of the Racing 92 rugby union club, will feature a movable seating block similar to that of Saitama Super Arena, allowing it to accommodate field or court sports. After numerous delays, the stadium is now set to open in autumn 2017.

Proposed stadiums with movable seating[edit]

Former stadiums with movable seating[edit]

  • The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, USA, featured movable seating, with layouts for baseball and football. Before its 2014 demolition, it was home to the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), served as a part-time home for the Minnesota Golden Gophers college baseball team (representing the University of Minnesota), and was also used for other college baseball games. It had also been home to the Minnesota Twins (American League) and the university's football program, but the Twins moved into their new Target Field in April 2010 and the Gophers football team opened their new TCF Bank Stadium in September 2009. The Metrodome also hosted NBA and college basketball games as well as soccer events. The Metrodome was replaced on-site by U.S. Bank Stadium, a stadium which also features movable seating.
  • Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado, USA, added a large movable stand in a 1977 expansion project. A hydraulic process allowed the stadium to change from a football to a baseball configuration in about two hours. The longtime home of the NFL's Denver Broncos and minor league baseball's Denver Bears/Zephyrs, it became the original home of baseball's Colorado Rockies in 1993. The Rockies drew all-time MLB record crowds in their first two seasons before leaving Mile High for their new Coors Field in 1995. Mile High was torn down after its football-only replacement, currently known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High, was opened in 2001.
  • Shea Stadium in New York City was built to function as both a football and baseball stadium. The New York Mets called Shea Stadium home from 1964 until 2008. The New York Jets played there from 1964 until 1983. Field level seats were arranged in two crescent shaped sections that could be moved on below-ground rails. In the football configuration these sections faced each other from opposite sides of the playing field. For baseball, the sections were rotated so that they would come close to meeting in the territory behind home plate. One section would be along the first base side foul line while the other was on the third base side. One consequence of the movable sections was that in the baseball configuration the seats were a larger distance from the foul lines than in most baseball-only parks. The seats also directly faced the foul line regardless of where they were located. Fans seated beyond first or third base would have to turn to face the infield. Another problem was that moving the seats damaged the grass playing surface. Late season Mets games often had sections of dead grass in the corners of the outfield from when the seats were moved for Jets games.[6] After the Jets moved to Giants Stadium in New Jersey following the 1983 NFL season, the seats were left in the baseball configuration. Seats were later added along the baselines, reducing the size of foul territory.
  • Candlestick Park (aka 3Com Park from 1995 until 2003) in San Francisco was opened in 1960 as a baseball-only stadium for the San Francisco Giants. In 1971 the San Francisco 49ers football team moved in, which required the stadium to be significantly expanded and altered which resulted in a shape like few other stadiums in the world. The Giants moved to AT&T Park after the 2000 season, and the stadium remained in its football configuration for the rest of its life. The 49ers moved to Levi's Stadium after the 2013 season, and demolition of Candlestick Park began in February 2015.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Telstra Stadium – Reconfiguration". 
  2. ^ a b "State de France". 
  3. ^ "Etihad Stadium – Seating Configuration". 
  4. ^ Johnson, Chuck (2005-01-25). "Nationals rounding third, heading home". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2006-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 9, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=lukas/080926