Taking fan experience to the next level
The new design for FC Cincinnati’s West End Stadium is charged with capturing the excitement of Cincinnati’s Major League Soccer fan base. Slated for completion in 2021, the stadium is designed to prioritize the fan experience and stadium atmosphere, while creating a focal point for the city.
BuroHappold Engineering is providing structural engineering services for the stadium that will serve the proposed FC Cincinnati MLS Expansion Team in the City of Cincinnati. The stadium design will meet all Major League Soccer criteria as well as being able to host FIFA sponsored events.
The structural design of the stadium is intrinsically tied to the goal of fostering an atmosphere of excitement for FC Cincinnati fans. This represented a significant design imperative for our team, having to devise a structural program that would offer the best comfort and safety for fans while engineering an iconic stadium for a growing fan base. Additionally, the BuroHappold team had to work within a fast-tracked schedule with an array of different consultants.
The design for the stadium includes a wrap-around seating bowl with a dedicated safe-standing zone and steeply pitched upper mezzanine. This approach, which also places suite boxes above the main seating area, allows for continuous fan seating and unobstructed sightlines, and will in turn encapsulate the energy generated by fans.
The future stadium will seat between 26,000 and 26,500 with all seats sheltered under a cantilevered roof. A signature facade system will be lit by color-changing LEDs, making the stadium unique and iconic for the team, the City, and the local community. BuroHappold has designed the roof structure as a cantilevered system for its efficiency, simplicity of construction, and alignment with the architectural intent. The roof will provide all seats with protection from environmental elements, such as sun exposure, without obstructing sightlines to the field. The cantilevered roof also allows sunlight onto the field, which is vital for the grass field.
With an aggressive schedule towards delivery of the new stadium and a diverse range of consultants involved, the design and collaboration process has been tailored to suit the unique demands of the project. For instance, we employed the use of a BIM 360 model that is cloud based for live updates, which ensures seamless collaboration and coordination. This computational design process has allowed our team to analyze changes in the roof design and update the areas of the stadium that will be affected.
To further adapt to the needs of the schedule, we have developed a phased construction process with the contractors, steel fabricators, and wider design team. Constructing the stadium in a sequence from two opposite points, the phased construction process allows for each 360 degree tier to be constructed by two separate teams, splitting the workload and time it takes to create each grade.
The new FC Cincinnati stadium will be able to accommodate an active and growing fan base in a stadium that prioritizes fan and player comfort. Working in a highly collaborative manner with the entire team has allowed for a design that meets the client’s schedule, is buildable, and an asset to the community and FC Cincinnati.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply