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The Multi-Purpose NFL Stadiums Trend

(This is a guest post by Brad Acker)

Many of the articles that I’ve been reading have pointed out that the multi-purpose stadium tread ended when Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, was built in 1992.

Why I agree that Camden Yards was a historical turning point for sports venues, I disagree that it ended the trend. The past few years have shown us that it just doesn’t work financially to have a single-use stadium.

Of course Baltimore’s level of play on the field hasn’t exactly helped!

Let’s take a look at some recent stadiums built (2002-2010):

* Reliant Stadium (02)
* Qwest Field (02)
* Ford Field (02)
* Lincoln Financial Field (03)
* Soldier Field (03)
* University of Phoenix Stadium (06)
* Lucas Oil Stadium (08)
* Cowboys Stadium (09)
* New Meadowlands Stadium (10)

We all know multi-purpose stadiums are nothing new and a lot of them were built in the 1960s-70s. I want to make the point that some of the ones listed above “get it” and really have taken the term multi-purpose to a new level. Hosting NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four’s, Mega Concerts as U2, Super Bowls, Rodeos, and lots of other events is getting the most out of a venue.

A lot of single purpose stadiums or ones that were built for just sports have been retired or a drain on tax payers dollars. With hardly any stadium size concerts going around today, many stadiums have partnered with private management companies or found other ways to put their venue to use.

Ways to make a stadium multi-purpose:

* Secondary tenant, such as college football team
* Meeting/event space in clubs, plazas, field, suites, etc.
* Festival or large concerts
* Community events
* Groups – ex. police training
* Exhibit Events
* Tours of the facility, team locker room, etc.
* Gala’s and fundraisers

What are some other ways you know of? New, old, and all ideas are welcome. Also, share some of your favorite events or event ideas.


Brad Acker is an experienced sport and entertainment venue management professional behind Venue Insider. He also writes at Sport Venue News-Yardbarker and Bleacher Report.

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