Live + Work + Play: Engaging and Revitalizing the Broader Urban Community Through Sport
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As most professional sports leagues continue moving towards a minor league model in an effort to develop athletes right out of high school as opposed to drafting players from the college ranks, the question of where these new developmental league teams will hold games opens the door for smaller market cities to land the stadiums where these teams will compete. If cities are to make a bid for a developmental league team, the tax payers should see a return on their investment in any stadium or practice facilities that are constructed. Given the reality that sports stadiums are largely taxpayer funded, how can stadiums be conceptualized to blur the line between public and private space giving citizens maximum accessibility and utilization of the stadium so the city can see a return on its investment? In order to provide a monetary return on the taxpayer investment and benefit the local community, these future sporting venues and accompanying facilities should be intentionally designed to engage the broader community throughout the year and serve as a catalyst for urban growth and economic development within its surrounding neighborhood. These multi-purpose sports complexes would feature a more accessible design allowing the stadium and surrounding landscape to become utilized year-round by both the developmental league team and the broader community. This design will not only consider the needs of the sports team, but also the surrounding community. This design will hopefully become a blueprint for major professional sports venues moving forward.