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Matt Rossetti on the future of stadia

"Instead of stand-alone, highly-controlled buildings, sports venues will become contextual to their surroundings and fully integrate into communities"

Matt Rossetti, president, Rossetti

During the last thirty years we've compared sports venues to cathedrals in their ability to catalyze people for special events. In the next twenty years, we'll see the complete opposite. Instead of stand-alone, highly-controlled buildings, sports venues will become contextual to their surroundings and fully integrate into communities. Sports venues will weave into the fabric of daily city life. There will be a constant flow in and out of the buildings, becoming truly multi-functional by infusing hospitality and civic uses into the program. Venues will be ubiquitous and used by all. 

As venues become more porous and informal, the seating bowl, and particularly the upper bowl, will deconstruct to allow for multiple ways of viewing and engagement that we haven't even thought of yet.

I believe as we balance design for both mobility and connection, we'll get to a point where venues will have only two thirds or even half the seats for the population in attendance. 

In addition, modular facilities of all sizes will allow sports design to be much more nimble. Modular will increase event flexibility and sustainability, particularly as the climate affects communities. Pop-up activation will either replace or compliment brick-and-mortar infrastructure. Modular will spur new opportunities to maximize real estate investment and accommodate new forms of entertainment that we're not aware of yet.

It will give smaller communities access to professional sports venues, grow young talent and evolve facilities organically alongside mixed-use developments. This is in contrast to the traditional 'build it and they will come' mentality.