Another Stadium, another debate

There doesn’t seem to be a week go by in which the construction of stadia doesn’t attract media attention, dividing opinion and posing interesting urban planning issues. I have said my bit re the place of stadiums in the community and my belief that they provide a greater social, political and economic role than their perceived face value brings. As John Bale states “The stadium, like the church, is a place of congregation—and, some would say, worship” [Temples of Earthbound, Gaffney, 2008, University of Texas Press].

Debate continues to rage, and much of this is conducted in the press, but here I’ve included link to a couple of books which I have found fascinating on this topic (I won’t bore you with the 30 odd published academic articles on the topic from the last couple of years).

So a touch of light Sunday reading of the San Jose Mercury News revealed this front page article on the Proposed new A’s stadium. The Oakland A’s are a baseball team based across the water from San Francisco in Oakland, having been there since 1968. As is the way with US based sports teams, they are only franchises, and as such are at the whim of their owners as to where the team is based, and as such there have been some funny/interesting/sad team relocations over the years, this could be just another of these.

As an aside, here’s yet another Stadium Debate, with similarities strangely close to Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

{Warning the PDF file is 800kb large}

Nice front page read, if you like newspapers, you can browse many of the world’s newspapers’ front pages at Newseum

You can follow the full debate over at the San Jose Mercury News special section on the A’s relocation @ I do have a soft spot for the A’s, as they were the first MLB team I saw play on our return from Yosemite National Park. They play at the Oakland Coliseum, sharing the ground with the local NFL Football team, a true multipurpose stadium, hence my interest in this topic.

This is a street tour of the area of the proposed Ball Park, with poor old Patty’s Inn one of the casualties of the development.

The following are great reads.

Post by Paul Le Comte



Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Fun, Inspiration, Media, Politics, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

2 responses to “Another Stadium, another debate

  1. Elizabeth

    Actually, we could do with a few ‘academic’ articles on stadia via link here.

    But I’d rather have articles by professional economists and sustainable built environment specialists, to be honest.

    Stadia don’t hold up well as economic generators, not in small provincial towns with small regional populations, such as Otago Southland, with Canterbury thrown in.

    And not when funded by debt in an observable recession of global reach.


    The situational rendering of opportunities for a stadium at Dunedin (which might have suggested other than a RUGBY STADIUM and a RECTANGULAR PITCH where formal design is concerned) has been hindered considerably by the stupid if not fickle timeline for RWC 2011 – this has not allowed full contextualisation of the stadium proposal and very obviously not a sufficiently broad peer review process for the whole fishing expedition as it might affect the Dunedin economy in competition with economic development options that are cogent and sustainable.

  2. Yeah good idea, I have a bigger collection than I thought, 125 reviewed Academic articles.

    For fear of breaching copyright, I can’t post them as full PDF’s but will include a couple of paragraphs and links to the articles. There’s some really really good stuff being published.

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