German architectural firm Interpol has unveiled a dramatic new stadium design that would bring 50% of fans in a 55,000-seat stadium significantly closer to the action.
Interpol’s Suprastadio concept would ensure that only 3% of the 55,000 spectators are more than 50m from the centre of the pitch. In a traditional stadium bowl more than a third of spectators are more than 50m away from the centre spot.
It revealed its design at the Aspire4Sport conference in Doha on Saturday, the same day as the first designs for the Qatar 2022 stadiums were unveiled.
The concept works by bringing forward the upper seating tiers so they are suspended above the seating below.
“For 2,500 years the grandstand has been based on a series of steps,” said Interpol founding partner Mathius Muller-Using.
“We are proud to present a completely new concept.”
Muller-Using said the concept would occupy two thirds of the footprint of an equivalent conventional stand making it well suited for city centre stadium sites.
He added that as a consequence the total cost is comparable to traditional stadiums, despite the need for a substantial concrete core to cope with the forces that will be applied to it.
Speaking at a panel debate on Interpol’s concept, Aecom head of sports Alf Oschatz said the new concept was “a great surprise”.
“It’s new, it’s innovative,” he said. “It’s a great idea and it gives our industry a push.”
Oschatz said the only drawback was that spectators sitting in the steeply raked upper tier might feel uncomfortable.
The rake of the upper tiers would well exceed 450 in so spectators can see the pitch.
But Muller-Using played down the concern.
“The uppermost tier is just three rows deep and holds just 3% of the audience,” he said.
“And some people will love that experience.”