Sports Design: Opportunities To Find More Opportunities
When DLR Group has the opportunity to work on a sports facility renovation, we begin by looking at the project in terms of what the structure’s full capabilities might be, beyond the client’s initial goals and the defined scope. It enables us to solve today’s needs while preparing the structure for future changes.
Our current partnership with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to modernize its four-decade-old M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field is a great example of this. The original project scope called for replacing the center of the baseball stadium bowl (the seating behind home plate and the press box), which the school wanted to upgrade. Through ongoing brainstorming and programming sessions, we were able to devise not just more seating, suites, and a larger press box, but an additional, larger club level the university hadn’t envisioned. It’s a new revenue generator, available not just in the spring but throughout the year as a premium event space.
Further discussions revealed that the clubhouse, tucked under a grandstand, was a chance to enhance the players’ experience by moving it into the left field corner, enlarging and updating it as a future opportunity.
Working closely with clients is the key to discovering these kinds of opportunities during a renovation. Additionally opportunities also surface through the teaming relationships DLR Group develops with the local architects—in this instance, Abell + Crozier + Davis Architects. DLR Group understands how a baseball stadium works, and we certainly visited the site multiple times, but the ACD team knows Moore Field firsthand, as both fans and designers. And that knowledge is invaluable to us, and to the University. Through collaboration and the sharing of our unique knowledge and experience, we can uncover additional opportunities to enhance the student-athlete and fan experience.
In the end, sports facility renovations aren’t just about solving a stated design need. They are opportunities to really dig into the possibilities and maximize a stadium’s current and future potential for everyone: owners, players, and fans alike.