The first, and most important element in designing any new sports facility is to understand the needs of players and the teams. The design must also consider every aspect of the fans’ interactions with the space.
Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) August 19, 2015
What secret ingredients make a ballpark visit an unforgettable experience? Once the teams are in place, the experts at DLA+ Architecture and Interior Design are supplying the rest of the recipe with the latest industry trends. Recent awards for the country’s best ballparks are reinforcing the firm’s leading role in designing outstanding sports venues across the region. Principals from the Pittsburgh firm were involved with several projects recently named winners in various best ballparks rankings and fan polls this summer.
DLA+ was the Architect for Baseballparks.com’s 2015 Ballpark of the Year, announced August 12. Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown, West Virginia, which is home of the Black Bears, and WVU Mountaineers, won the designation over other new or remodeled ballparks used for all levels of play. The Blacks Bears are an MiLB affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In addition, DLA+ principals were involved with PNC Park, just named as the “Best MLB Ballpark” by 91,000 voters visiting Ballpark Digest. Earlier this summer, Monongalia County Ballpark was also the final winner with 86 percent of the vote in the site’s “MiLB Best of the Ballparks – Short Season A” fan voting competition. Ballpark Digest is a national online publication that has covered ballparks and the business of baseball for more than a decade.
Ballpark Digest’s staff rankings placed five projects in which DLA+ principals have played a role into its list of the country’s Best Ballparks: PNC Park as #3 MLB Ballpark; Medlar Field in State College, PA as #3 MiLB Short Season A, Monongalia County as #7 and Altoona Curve’s Peoples Natural Gas Field as #18.
“The first, and most important element in designing any new sports facility is to understand the needs of players and the teams,” noted Dennis Astorino, principal, DLA+ Architecture and Interior Design. “A new facility can completely change a team’s experience by improving the environment and amenities for both practice and competitions. It will also have a major impact on player recruiting and retention as well as the fan experience.”
“The design must consider every aspect of the fans’ interactions with the space, from sight, sound, touch, and even tastes and smells that visitors will encounter,” added Christopher Haupt, principal, DLA+ Architecture & Interior Design “Providing a variety of amenities at different price points is important for appealing to a cross-section of visitors. Elements such as open concourses, seating berms, standing room only (SRO) areas to convene informally, suites, club seating, and picnic areas all offer options for fan choice. Fans have become more sophisticated than ever before, and they have high expectations for an entertaining overall experience.”
Haupt also revealed that fans can also expect to see greater integration of technology into the design of sports facilities: “The next big trend is adding technology that provides real-time statistics and fan interaction through social media.”
Principals at DLA+ have been involved in more than 100 sports projects with more than $2B in constructed value over the last 20 years. The team has worked with multiple NCAA conferences and divisions; including Division I and Division II, ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12; the NFL, MLB, MiLB, and NHL. In addition, the firm works on an ongoing basis with PNC Park, CONSOL Energy Center, and Heinz Field, and is currently working on projects for the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania State University.
Astorino also attributes the firm’s sports practice growth to an approach that has consistently been ahead of architecture industry trends, while satisfying teams’ and clients’ business goals. Long before “collaboration, sustainability and innovation” became the top buzzwords across the industry, principals at the firm were employing a strategic approach to integrating these concepts. For example, Altoona Ballpark was one of the first venues to have an open and covered concourse facing the field.
In Western Pennsylvania, members of the firm have been a part of numerous development projects across numerous industries (in addition to sports), that have reinvented the region. Energy Innovation Center (EIC), Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 3 PNC Plaza, CONSOL Energy Center and PNC Park are just a few of the significant changes to the local landscape.
“Across our sports practice -- and in all our projects, we are using our strategic approach to design creative, yet practical solutions for spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, accessible, environmentally responsible, and financially viable for the long-term needs of clients,” said Haupt.
About DLA+ Architecture and Interior Design
Headquartered in in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, DLA+ is a full service Architecture and Interior design firm dedicated to providing Strategic ArchitectureSM solutions through a collaborative and integrated approach to delivering projects for clients. Its team of talented professionals has broad and deep experience in all aspects of the Architecture and Interior design disciplines, significant LEED and design/build background, and extensive construction contract administration experience. Visit http://www.DLAplus.com for more information.
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