Arena and stadium projects are big business, providing team owners with new revenue opportunities and enabling architects and developers to flex their creative muscles. New sports venues are also a boon for architectural glass, glazing and metal companies.

One of the main features of the Chase Center in San Francisco is its unique glass gatehouse (bottom center). Photo courtesy of Jason O’Rear.

Fortunately, there are more than enough projects to go around. According to J.C. Bradbury, a sports economist at Kennesaw State University, and reporting from the Associated Press, more than two dozen sports arenas and stadiums have been built or renovated in the past 10 years.

This includes Las Vegas-based Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. The stadium features more than 410,000 square feet of dark-tinted glass engineered, fabricated and installed by Enclos, Giroux Glass, Arup, GC Interpane, Glasswerks, Glass Supply, Pulp Studio and Sensitile. The San Francisco 49ers’ Levi Stadium opened within the past decade and was the first sports stadium to implement electrochromic glass supplied by View Inc.

The NBA has also experienced a flurry of construction activity recently. The Los Angeles Clippers will move into their new Inglewood, California, arena in 2024 (the third most expensive U.S. arena), while other projects in San Francisco, Milwaukee, Detroit, Sacramento and Phoenix have transformed the gameday experience.

With the start of the NBA playoffs, many of the newer league arenas will get their moment in the spotlight. Take, for instance, the newest NBA arena, the Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center. Of note: the Warriors were eliminated during their postseason play-in game against the Sacramento Kings. One of the main features of the Chase Center is its unique glass gatehouse, which sits across from the arena and acts as a site entrance and wind block.

The gatehouse’s façade includes architecturally exposed structural steel fabrication, large, curved glass, complex geometry, stainless steel and zinc panels, curved and slanted handrail systems and curved louvers. Enclos assisted with the design and construction of the building. Company officials say Enclos installed 121 glass lites, accounting for 3,984 square feet of exterior glass and 1,355 square feet of interior glass.

Enclos also provided a metal panel rain-screen system and facades for two adjacent office towers. Officials say the Chase Center’s glazed atrium includes 40,000 square feet of curtainwall on architecturally exposed structural steel.

Another unique stadium design feature is prominently displayed at the Phoenix Suns’ Footprint Center, which reopened in late 2021. The arena underwent a significant transformation that lasted two years and cost $230 million. The funding included a new exterior skin engineered by Kovach Enclosure Systems in partnership with artist Ned Kahn.

The skin resembles rippling water when the wind blows and appears to catch fire when the sun strikes. The effects are possible due to 130,000 kinetic, 6-inch by 6-inch aluminum flaps that move independently without electricity. According to HOK officials, special paint (prismatic orange) changes color based on the sun’s reflection. Kovach engineered and manufactured the aluminum flaps at its Chandler, Arizona, facility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *