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John Vogl’s Article of the Future of Stadiums -Also One Buffalo Stadium?

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John Vogl’s Latest Article for Athletic was above how Stadium have evolved over the past few years and how newer stadiums are designed to be used throughout the year and not just on game days. 

He did speak to Bruce Popko from PSE about how both the Bills and Sabres will need new or upgrades to their existing homes. One of the ideas being floated in the article is a joint facility that will serve as Stadium for the Bills and Sabres as will as a convention center. 

 

https://theathletic.com/698678/2018/12/07/how-the-next-generation-of-arenas-will-flip-the-script-bringing-the-outside-in-and-the-inside-out/

 

From the article 

While The Sabres have been innovators for players, the arena has fallen behind for fans. It’s one of 16 NHL buildings that’s at least 20 years old, and there have been no substantial makeovers.

“There is a laundry list of things that we can go through with a 23-year-old building like we have here,” Popko said. “We’re ready for the next phase of development.”

It’s a major development. The Sabres’ arena opened in 1996, and the Bills’ stadium first welcomed fans in 1973. Pegula Sports announced last week that is beginning a comprehensive study to determine whether renovations or new buildings are the best option. The study, which is expected to last six to nine months, will include preliminary sketches from Populous.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to do work up there and help reimagine what the arena can be,” said Clark.

Buffalo’s also in the market for a convention center, which could be tied to a new downtown football stadium.

“It’s all on the table,” Popko said.

Though it seems unimaginable, Buffalo could construct just one building for a hockey arena, football stadium and convention center. The building would transform itself from a sprawling 60,000-seat stadium to a more intimate 20,000-seat arena in a matter of hours. Instead of having two facilities that sit empty most days, the city would have one multipurpose, high-tech marvel that would attract concerts and retail opportunities to go with the games.

“It definitely can be done,” Singaby said. “We’ve studied and explored many design solutions that combine the stadium size with the arena size, and we are very excited about the potential.”

He pointed to Pierre Mauroy Stadium in France. It’s a 50,000-seat soccer stadium with a retractable roof and dual-level floor. The grass field sits on hydraulic lifts, which raise and move the playing surface to reveal a subfloor that is used for everything from tennis to hockey to motocross.

As the grass field is hauled away, a huge curtain narrows the building’s appearance, and tier-level seats are brought in to flank the rink or court.

 

It’s a huge engineering and coordination effort to pull off both into one transformable building and it comes with a premium price tag as well,” Singaby said. “The benefits of combining may include maximizing the use of less land or that one transformable building is cheaper than two standalones in the case of one owner.”

The Bills and Sabres do have one owner, so the study may show that a superstructure is the optimal solution. While it seems far-fetched and futuristic, it wasn’t long ago that a ticket merely got people into the game. Now some arenas don’t even take tickets, ushering fans into a world of concourse bars, rooftop patios and stat-laden LED screens through their phone.

That world will keep changing.

“We’re always looking at ourselves and saying, ‘What’s the next thing?’” Benge said. “We’re trying to figure out what is that next thing that we need to do to either be out in front of somebody or catching up to somebody.”

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All Sabres games will be outdoor games!! I mean that's what the NHL is moving towards.  Am I right? 

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Just now, inkman said:

All Sabres games will be outdoor games!! I mean that's what the NHL is moving towards.  Am I right? 

That would be crazy and fun.  It'd still have to be convertible for concerts and the like, as well as rainy days.

The NFL-NHL stadium idea is fascinating.  Maybe a couple times a year, you could use the entire NFL seating area for hockey, like select Leafs-Sabres games or particular playoff games and turn the whole thing into an NHL madhouse.  No more ticket shortages, plenty of affordable tickets for all, and the place would turn up to 11 like 19 for big games.

By the way, based on the size of the Browns' stadium, there is room to jam a separate NFL stadium in the area around Key Bank Center, or nearby, to the southwest of South Park and Louisiana.

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If this comes to pass I think we will see our first $750M to $1B stadium.

Just crazy.

Meanwhile, in Halifax there is plenty of wailing and nashing of teeth going on while we think about the merits of a $100M (+/-) stadium to attract a CFL team.

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14 minutes ago, inkman said:

All Sabres games will be outdoor games!! I mean that's what the NHL is moving towards.  Am I right? 

Well, all except Tux-n-Pucks night which will still be held indoors for tradition sake.  

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It sounds yucky. A curtain? It would have to be executed perfectly. I wouldn't want them going into it thinking that they're building a football stadium that doubles as a hockey arena.

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Of course its not my money, but I'm all for something like this.  I'd kinda like to see a downtown football stadium...but more so because I just never liked Key Bank Center.  From the time it opened in the late 1990's, I just never thought that Arena had any character at all, and now it is getting a bit run-down.

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I'm not in Buffalo so its not for me to say but I will. For those of us that only get to view the Sabres on the little screen and not in person I'd hate to see something like a football stadium that breaks down into a hockey rink. Clearly that building would be built for football and hockey would be the ugly stepsister or an afterthought. The intimacy of a rink would be lost in the expanse of a football stadium regardless of how hard they tried to please the hockey fan . A giant curtain brings thoughts of the wizard of Oz pulling one over on the little people with his bells and whistles. Give me a stand alone stadium any day of the week over playing second fiddle inside the belly of the beast that is the N.F.L. How do you pull the fans in on all sides right up to the rink inside an N.F.L. stadium ? How would you sit looking down onto the ice like you did in the old rinks like the forum or maple leaf gardens or the Aud ? I don't know but to me that intimacy is what creates the hockey experience whether you're there or at home watching on T.V.

 

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I once attended a concert (U2) in this arena:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saitama_Super_Arena

Flexes from 37k down to 19k depending on configuration and can host football or hockey. U2 played 3 nights at 22.5k I believe. So the concept is proven, but execution at 60k down to 20k would be key. 

That said, the hockey experience would need to be a primary focus. Although football is the big money sport, when the total number of attendees over the season are considered, more spectator hours are spent on hockey than football. The curtain idea worries me. For that kind of money, it has to be a 50+ year facility. 

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7 hours ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

If this comes to pass I think we will see our first $750M to $1B stadium.

Just crazy.

Meanwhile, in Halifax there is plenty of wailing and nashing of teeth going on while we think about the merits of a $100M (+/-) stadium to attract a CFL team.

Maybe I'm not following, there are 10 stadiums with a $1 billion plus price tag

https://seatgeek.com/tba/sports/the-top-ten-most-expensive-sports-stadiums/

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I’m not sure this has ever been done with an ice rink and I’m not convinced the ice quality would stand up to this. Plus it just looks tacky as hell (the examples above look tacky as does the Carrier Dome). Build the Bills stadium downtown near the the baseball and hockey ones and don’t get too cute about it. Also make the Pegulas pay.

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The Pontiac Silverdome was built in 1975.  It was used by the Lions for 26 years and by the Pistons for 10 years.  That facility also used a curtain during BB games which seemed to take away from the character of the internal structure.  My biggest complaint when watching the Pistons a few times was that the crowd noise was absorbed by the huge building.  Granted, the Pistons were not very good for most of their time in the Dome. but IMO it seemed like it was a quiet venue.  It's likely that architecture and sound absorption is much different than it once was.

Guess that was back before your days in the Motor City Doohickie😀

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Maybe they could figure a way to build the ice rink underground and the football above it.

As for the concerts ...I went to some of the Summer fest concerts at Rich and they were great back in the '70's with more than 80k people. Also, don't we play hockey in football stadiums now without out special accomodations? 

 

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6 hours ago, inkman said:

Maybe I'm not following, there are 10 stadiums with a $1 billion plus price tag

https://seatgeek.com/tba/sports/the-top-ten-most-expensive-sports-stadiums/

So, it's even worse than I thought.  I didn't think it was possible, but I didn't look it up.  Crazy stuff.

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I wonder, could the sabres fill 25.000 - 30000 seats ?  because doing a combo like that it would seem logical to try to get more seats for hockey games.

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7 minutes ago, Huckleberry said:

I wonder, could the sabres fill 25.000 - 30000 seats ?  because doing a combo like that it would seem logical to try to get more seats for hockey games.

Based on area population, although the Sabres and Bills do try to attract fans from outside the immediate area (Southern Ontario, Northern PA ...) the SAbres would have to be real serious cup challengers for an extended period of years to draw anywhere near 25 - 30 thousand.  Any NHL team would struggle to do that, IMO.

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1 minute ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

Based on area population, although the Sabres and Bills do try to attract fans from outside the immediate area (Southern Ontario, Northern PA ...) the SAbres would have to be real serious cup challengers for an extended period of years to draw anywhere near 25 - 30 thousand.  Any NHL team would struggle to do that, IMO.

Yeah, but come playoff time I can see them filling that easy, would be nice option to able to expand to 25k or something.

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9 minutes ago, Huckleberry said:

Yeah, but come playoff time I can see them filling that easy, would be nice option to able to expand to 25k or something.

If they end up doing a combined stadium then I think that it would be expandable for hockey based on the seating required.  I think that you are right the Sabres would be able to fill it during the playoffs, especially if they go on extended playoff runs year after year.  It is good to have the option available for any event.

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1 hour ago, Huckleberry said:

I wonder, could the sabres fill 25.000 - 30000 seats ?  because doing a combo like that it would seem logical to try to get more seats for hockey games.

The Sabres only consistently sold out their barn in the '70's and this last run post-lockout.  They didn't even sellout consistently in the Lafontaine years nor in the Hasek years.  (Weeknight October games & Whalers games sparsely attended; March games nearly always sold out.  Lather, rinse, repeat.)

Other than for a handful of regular season games and deep playoff run games they'd never sell them all & it would be counter productive to have that many seats available.

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You can kiss any semblance of "atmosphere" good-bye for Sabres games if they go to that format.

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They just showed a glimpse of one side of the arena pavilion (ticket office entrance). I'm thinking one of the main ideas of redesigning the arena would be tearing off the entire existing front of the building and starting from scratch. Meld the arena and HarborCenter more seamlessly. Create a great outdoor space for all the playoff viewing parties to come. I wish they'd get rid of the street that runs right in front of the arena. That makes me really nervous.

Just spitballin'.

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On ‎12‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 8:41 AM, Taro T said:

The Sabres only consistently sold out their barn in the '70's and this last run post-lockout.  They didn't even sellout consistently in the Lafontaine years nor in the Hasek years.  (Weeknight October games & Whalers games sparsely attended; March games nearly always sold out.  Lather, rinse, repeat.)

Other than for a handful of regular season games and deep playoff run games they'd never sell them all & it would be counter productive to have that many seats available.

Concur. 

As an aside.....

One thing they should consider to enhance atmosphere is to vertically stack the seats ala the Aud.  It appears architects who design the new buildings like pushing things back.  This probably results in better sight lines, but you are further away from the action.  It has been often repeated that the old buildings are missed so much because the fans were right on top of everything.  It would make sense to make this a priority, along with attempting to amplify the noise in some way via the design.

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