Designing and Constructing A Football Stadium: What You Need To Know

Andy Miller, AIA, project architect in the Indianapolis office of Fanning Howey, shares advice for school administrators embarking on a football stadium project.

  • Priorities first. The district’s use of the facility is the highest priority, followed by community usage. “You do want to reach out the community,” says Miller, “but make sure that any or all school activities are accommodated first. You want to maximize the use of the facility, and that starts with school use.”
  • Money. While it’s nice to see money coming in from renting the facility, don’t expect that rentals will fund it. On the other hand, there are funding cycles and costs involved with running the facility, and sometimes sponsorships can help alleviate those costs.
  • Extended use. Today’s sports stadiums have to have multiple uses: football, track, soccer, lacrosse and more. “A lot of times even the parking lots are used by the community for fairs or flea markets, says Miller. “The point is to maximize the use of the facilities — do whatever you can to get people to, in and around the facility to add value.”
  • Scheduling. Someone has to schedule activities and keep an eye on how the facility is being used. Scheduling could become a burden if it’s a small school system, so plan for it.
  • Plan for the future. If you want to provide the maximum that you can afford now, yet expand as money becomes available, you can plan for that during the initial design.

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of School Planning & Management.

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