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A few of my favorite things about Livestrong Park

06/06/2011 11:36 AM

05/16/2014 5:39 PM

I'm not an expert on Sporting Kansas City's new $200 million stadium. But, I've been there about 10 times to document, research, explore and sometimes gasp in awe. So, over the next few days to get you pumped/ready for the grand opening, I'm going to rundown just a few of my favorite features that I think you'll also like at the new stadium.

On Friday, I want to hear from you what your favorite features are.

But let's start with mine and let's start today with the design of the stadium.

I never really studied architecture, I just know what I like. And I like angles. And LSP is full of interesting and unique angles. From the slope and curves of the roof* to the aluminum fins around the exterior of the stadium to the Victory Suite in the northwest corner to the part of the Member's Stand that juts into the East Stand.

*The picture in the banner of this very blog you're reading right now is looking up at the southwest corner of the stadium. The eye-catching look is created by the cantilevered roof (the second-largest on a stadium in the United States) and the design of the steel trusses. Each corner -- due to the sloping of the roof -- is a little different as well. Make sure you click through the photos at right for visual examples.

The design is aesthetically appealing and structurally important. (The roof is responsible for keeping the sound pressed down into the stadium and, to keep the wind from lifting the roof up, it needs the cantilevered steel trusses.)

It has an artistic inspiration as well. According to Populous, the stadium's designers:

"The building’s exterior of repeating angular metal fins represent the ‘body,’ or, translated, the players’ athleticism on the field. The fins align over the length of the building façade to create animated movement like the players on the field. The signature roof canopy is derived from the long floating arc of the soccer ball as it soars across the field. The roof’s polycarbonate panels create an intimate, yet grand scale. Functionally, the roof aids in amplifying crowd noise as it covers every seat in the stadium."

So, make sure you take note of that.

The other cool part about the angles has to do with the fan experience. Because of the small plot of land the stadium sits on and the desire for more atmosphere, the rake of the seats is fairly steep. Not keep-your-balance-or-risk-plummeting-to-injury steep like the Sprint Center, but steep enough so even the person sitting in the last row of the East Stand feels on top of the action.

Each seat in the stadium (save but just a few that I believe are being adjusted) faces the field at a near 90-degree angle.

The hope being that there isn't a bad seat in the house.

Up Next: Let the beer flow -- fast.

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