The Secrets to Stadium Success

Eric Jaffe looks to a new study published in the Journal of Urbanism comparing the triumphs and failures of new baseball fields in Denver and Phoenix for lessons on how to build a successful downtown stadium.

1 minute read

March 29, 2012, 8:00 AM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


A new study by Arizona State researchers Stephen Buckman and Elizabeth A. Mack analyses the reasons why Coors Field, which opened in downtown Denver in 1995, hit a home run with the local economy and downtown redevelopment, while Chase Field, which opened in downtown Phoenix in 1998, struck out, despite being modeled on Coors.

According to Jaffe, "That Coors and Chase Fields had diverging fates is no accident but rather the result of poor planning...Phoenix's attempt to copy Denver's success shows that sports stadiums are not a one-size-fits-all solution to downtown redevelopment efforts."

Buckman and Mack's study demonstrates that historic growth patterns of the city and the existing population density in proximity to the stadium location were important factors in determining each stadium's success.

As Jaffe notes, "The lesson for other cities considering a downtown stadium, the authors conclude, is to understand beforehand whether or not the mega-structure fits the urban form, and if it doesn't, to design a development plan that enhances whatever impact it might have on its own."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Rendering of wildlife crossing over 101 freeway in Los Angeles County.

World's Largest Wildlife Overpass In the Works in Los Angeles County

Caltrans will soon close half of the 101 Freeway in order to continue construction of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing near Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County.

April 15, 2024 - LAist

Workers putting down asphalt on road.

U.S. Supreme Court: California's Impact Fees May Violate Takings Clause

A California property owner took El Dorado County to state court after paying a traffic impact fee he felt was exorbitant. He lost in trial court, appellate court, and the California Supreme Court denied review. Then the U.S. Supreme Court acted.

April 18, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Close-up of hand holding up wooden thermometer in front of blurred street

New Forecasting Tool Aims to Reduce Heat-Related Deaths

Two federal agencies launched a new, easy-to-use, color-coded heat warning system that combines meteorological and medical risk factors.

40 minutes ago - Associated Press via Portland Press Herald

View of Dallas city skyline with moderately busy freeway in foreground at twilight.

AI Traffic Management Comes to Dallas-Fort Worth

Several Texas cities are using an AI-powered platform called NoTraffic to help manage traffic signals to increase safety and improve traffic flow.

1 hour ago - Dallas Morning News

View from back of BART Police SUV driving down street in San Francisco, California.

Podcast: Addressing the Root Causes of Transit Violence

Deploying transit police is a short-term fix. How can transit agencies build sustainable safety efforts?

2 hours ago - Streetsblog USA

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.