From Oakland to L.A. to San Diego, cities are hoping to convince major sports teams and their crowds to come to town.
"The sports stuff is a catalyst for greater ends," summed up architect Morten Jensen, a principal at Bay Area firm JRDV, which developed a CRA-sponsored proposal for a stadium in Oakland that could not only host multiple teams but also help revitalize its immediate neighborhood through a slew of related development.
Such innovations are vital for a building type that is still notorious for shutting out its surroundings with large parking lots, hulking masses, and relatively little activity, pointed out Gabriel Metcalf, Executive Director of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR). "The jury is still out on whether football stadiums are a net positive or negative for communities," noted Metcalf. "We need a reinvention of the form to create a way of knitting them back into the urban fabric.""