A rendering of the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, which will feature a retractable roof of metal petals that “spins” open like a camera aperture.
When Camden Yards, the then-new home of the Baltimore Orioles, hosted its first game in April 1992, it was easy to walk around the brick-covered ballpark and believe you had stumbled into the Babe Ruth era. Designed by Populous, a firm that specialized in stadium work, to blend in with the surrounding warehouses, Camden Yards set off a trend for retro ballparks that continues to this day. But recent advances in video and construction technology have tilted stadium design forward, ushering in an era of adventurous, sustainable arenas and ballparks. Competition from the increasingly sophisticated home-viewing experience and the drive to erect bigger and better civic temples to pro sports have kickstarted a new era in design. Here are some forthcoming examples of stadium designs in North America that prove there’s often more to look at at the game than the game at hand.