HOK Releases New Proposed St. Louis NFL Stadium Renderings

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NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 09/01/2015

HOK, the architecture firm tasked with designing the proposed new National Football League stadium on the north St. Louis riverfront has released new renderings today. In an exclusive interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, HOK designers promote some of the details of the stadium. And a reminder, stadium promoters have pledged that if there’s no team commitment by the Rams or someone else, there’s no stadium.

A look at renderings released in April show just how little has changed. The bridges over the railroad tracks? They’re there. Rainwater gardens? Yep. The row of buildings on North Broadway that includes Shady Jack’s? Still there. Electric substation? Behind a screen of trees. Lots of plazas and open spaces? Uh huh.

What else? The public access trail between the stadium and river appears as an afterthought. The parking lots appear to be rather diminutive by NFL stadium standards, and are of the green variety. There’s also been plenty of refinement in the design, such as the east side screen above the top tier of stands, and the main facade facing south toward the Arch and downtown. There is one less pedestrian connection to the parking lots, if you’re looking for a more substantive change.

Without a doubt, an NFL stadium at this site is an exciting design challenge. Clearly HOK has dealt with some tough constraints to deliver a feasible project. The Post-Dispatch story says 30 HOK designers and 30 contractors have been working on it. A previous Post-Dispatch story stated that HOK has earned more than $2M in design fees as of about a month ago.

It also appears that this exclusive may have gotten to the Post-Dispatch writer a bit: “…the newest plans show a clear turn. The proposed stadium, viewed by some as elitist and wasteful, has become an arena for the people.” Oh my. Those are the journalist’s words, not the designer’s, or the stadium task force’s Dave Peacock.

Slideshow of images released by HOK today:

NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 09/01/2015
Above: 09/01/2015
Below: 04/23/2015
NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 04/23/2015

NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 09/01/2015
Above: 09/01/2015
Below: 04/23/2015
NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 04/23/2015


Above: 09/01/2015
Below: 04/23/2015
NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 04/23/2015

NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 09/01/2015
Above: 09/01/2015
Below: 04/23/2015
NFL stadium proposal - St. Louis, MO 04/23/2015

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  • Pingback: Episode #56: Stadiums and Cities — UrbanCincy()

  • NeedAnswersSTL

    Will the new stadium (if built) qualify to hold a Super Bowl game?
    If not, does anybody know why not?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Presumably, but holding a Super Bowl hasn’t been a clear win for some cities. They’re asked to raise a lot of money and pay for a huge part of hosting an event. The payoff, as with many big projects is said to be extra nights in hotels, etc., and tons of intangibles – you’re a Super Bowl city!

      • NeedAnswersSTL

        Thank you for answering my question.
        Guessing that the Super Bowl bidding is very competitive to get and that it could have it’s negatives, as well as, positives. The Cardinals seem to give the city a good boost with playoffs and World Series games but then again all they are doing is bringing in extra people in an extended season; a Super Bowl would probably be a mini-Olympics type event.

  • Mike F

    My wife and I just returned from a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, and before heading there, we stayed a night in Denver, visiting friends. And I must say, compared to Denver, St. Louis–a City which I have called home since 1966–is a sick ****ing joke. A commuter rail line, a new, union labor-built streetcar line (Quelle Horrores, UNIONS! Note the Denver component in this story: http://www.shelterforce.org/article/3990/sprawl_vs._unions/), new apartments opening in downtown Denver seemingly every week (Including one which advertised “Live LEED”), a vibrant, heavily-peopled downtown, which seems to have even more intact historic building stock than the supposedly “preservation-friendly” St. Louis (and from what I can tell, parking lots have not attained the fetish-sized proportions as St. Louis).
    We also visited Denver last year, and the streets DT and LODO are even more populated by people than they were then, so this is not a fluke.

    Yes, one can say that Denver has mountains, etc., but beyond that, it is no better or worse a location than St. Louis. And indeed, as relayed to us by our friends, Denver’s COL is higher than St. Louis’, but then again, people want to live in Denver (demand).

    People, you had better get your heads out of your asses, because another stadium ain’t gonna make St. Louis a Denver. And neither will the aborted CAR (with the worst plan, MVVA’s, making the only direct route from DT to the river, Washington Ave., disappear, among other flaws), nor will letting our historic building stock deteriorate. Our younger friends, BTW, were planning on returning to St. Louis, we should note, but not for the reasons one may think. They have basically learned that to make it in Denver, one has to have your “A” game going, so they have decided to move back to our podunk little burgh for “training”, if you will, before then returning to Denver for the higher salaries and greater responsibilities such experience garners. This should worry those boosters who see the younger component here in St. Louis as a start to a revitalized Region. Perhaps these younger workers merely view St. Louis as a training ground for bigger and better career opportunities. If so, all of this blather about a gleaming new monument to our country’s fetishizing of the wealthy is just so much hot air, and a distraction and smokescreen to the real problems facing our City and region.

    Oh, and football sucks. That one’s just to piss off the rabid fans who see nothing but RAMSRAMSRAMSRAMSRAMS.

    • Adam

      Mike, who’s the “you” that you’re yelling at? NextSTL isn’t endorsing the stadium (as is pretty obvious if you actually read the above). They’re just providing information.

      Secondly, perhaps you and your younger friends are examples of the typical grass-is-always-greener St. Louisans. I live in the Denver area and I can’t wait to move back to St. Louis. To say that St. Louis is a “sick ****ing joke” compared to Denver is absurd hyperbole. No, Denver does not have more historic buildings in its downtown than St. Louis, and they have nothing approaching the amount of historic architecture that permeates all of St. Louis City. The two metros are neck-and-neck population wise with St. Louis City having a larger population density than Denver City. Yes, they do have more modern skyscrapers, but they also don’t have a Central West End or a Clayton to compete with in that regard. As for transit, Metrolink is only a mile shorter than Denver’s light rail system and opened a year before theirs did. Moreover, St. Louis’ architecture, parks, and arts, cultural, and civic institutions blow Denver’s out of the water IMHO. The two advantages that Denver has over St. Louis—and one is fairly recent—is mountains and jobs. The mountains attract wealth (and swarms of insufferable people) from the West Coast and jobs attract young people. And again I’m not endorsing the stadium, but greatest-place-in-the-universe Denver built a new football stadium as well back in 2001 when their downtown was pretty-much a wasteland. Aside from jobs, the biggest thing that Denver has going for it is pride of place—something that native St. Louisans lack in general—and hip, youthful image. The story about your young friends is an unfortunate anecdote, but give other young St. Louisans—particularly those involved in our burgeoning start-up and tech scenes—some credit instead of imposing your typical St. Louis nihilism on them. It’s because of them that “bigger and better career opportunities” are growing in St. Louis as well.

      • Michael B

        Young St. Louisan checking in. I love St. Louis. I love watching St. Louis grow and improve. I love all of the things you mentioned: the architecture, the arts scene, our parks, our two downtowns, our free attractions like Forest Park, the Zoo, the History and Art museums. I love our neighborhoods:The Grove, the Central West End, Tower Grove, Benton Park, LaFayette Square, Clayton, Dogtown, South Grand, I could go on and on. I even love our sports scene.

        My least favorite part about St. Louis is not our weak metro line, our still blossoming bicycling infrastructure, or our somewhat inactive downtown. These things can improve, and they are improving. My least favorite part about St. Louis is the whiners. There are so many people who live in this city who think it’s absolutely terrible. They go on and on about the crime, lack of jobs, race issues, etc., as if every other city doesn’t have these problems. They refuse to acknowledge the change that has happened in the city and insult every single proposal for change with the same tired line about how this won’t solve all our problems. Well, guess what? There isn’t some magic sauce that you can spread on our city to make the schools better overnight, or add infrastructure at the drop of a hat. Neighborhoods don’t revitalize overnight. But progress does happen, and it happens because of people who look to fix problems instead of complaining about them. Progress is achieved by people who love this city, flaws and all, not by someone who barely ever sets foot in the city and poo-poos every idea and proposal.

  • Jordan

    Love it when armchair QBs comment on deign when they can’t even draw a stick figure. Oh my

    • STLEnginerd

      Love it when people expect residents to put up a third of a cost of the stadium, but tell them to shut up about the details let the experts decide how it’s spent.

  • Kevin

    Maybe someone can explain this to me…

    Why can’t they move the stadium further north and preserve more of the historic buildings around the power station

    • Kevin

      *?

    • STLady

      I understood it was due to the design speeds of the train line. It can only deflect west so far… Also, someone said in an earlier comment that that rail line is oversized to accommodate the future high speed rail line.

  • Give this to me now!

    Seriously, I am about as non-football fan as you can get (I attribute that to attending a grade school/high school/college without the sport + STL not having a pro team for my first ten years), but I desperately want this stadium to happen. Mayor Slay isn’t wrong with his prestige argument for being an NFL City, and I feel something like this is a worthwhile replacement for some north riverfront buildings (parking lots and all).

    As usual, I’d request they bump the site north slightly to preserve/re-use the Laclede Power Station, and consolidate some more of the open-air parking spots into a partially-buried garage (thus preserving a couple more N. Broadway structures), but other than that — they’ve just about nailed it.

    People referring to this project as a shot in the arm for downtown are off-base, I feel. Instead, this should be positioned as the project that finally directs positive growth and investment in St. Louis’s near north side. Downtown will continue to slog along until its immediate edges are addressed/improved. Once there’s a solid business/residential base on the Near North Side (ahem, the MRB/Tucker corridor needs a development plan), businesses will begin moving back to downtown. Count on it.

  • yneemee

    Too bad the SS Admiral couldn’t have survived long enough to join this new project

  • Presbyterian

    I’m not opposed to this project. I do like that the Broadway buildings made it into the actual rendering (and not just the site plan) this time.

    I wonder whether this set of renderings scales back expectations that the power plant will get repurposed. Seems now to be surrounded by green lawns or something. I’d love to see the power plant included in the project, though funding that aspect always seemed suspect to me.

  • Don

    Mixed feelings aside about building yet another stadium for a billionaire football owner who could not care less about our community, has zero involvement, and wants to be elsewhere, these renderings are magnificent.

    The adjoining surface lots seem a bit silly. They would only be a drop in the bucket compared to the parking requirements for such facility while occupying otherwise very valuable real estate. My guess is that this is all abut VIP parking.

    Finally, I really wish someone cared about developing a transient boat dock for the riverfront. A river city with no river access. Such a harbor would be a perfect compliment to this project. Many pleasure craft pass by St Louis going in both directions (now many heading South for the winter) with no [safe] means to stop and visit. It’s just absurd.

  • Max

    I can live with the parking to the North and the West, it’s those three large lots to the South that really bother me. How does that do anything to re-vitalize The Landing?

    • Adam

      It doesn’t, anymore than the other stadiums we’ve built have done anything to revitalize their corners of downtown. The revitalization promise will be made every time regardless of previous outcomes because sports.

      • Max

        I do think a new stadium, if planned appropriately, could help SOME to revitalize an area. Enough to justify its price tag? Probably not.

  • d3als

    It looks like a cool stadium, but that doesn’t mean we should build it.

    • Don

      These publicly funded stadium project have become one of the questions of our time. Such facilities are more important to a city like St Louis then many critics are willing to concede but usually not as important as their champions would have us believe.

      Remember, the Roman Coliseum was publicly funded and that has turned out to be a good value for Rome. 🙂

      I can accept the stadium as municipal infrastructure for a modern, developed city. What is truly galling is the essentially free us that teams frequently demand of publicly funded facilities. At least in this proposal, $450M is expected to come from the Rams and the NFL. That’s more than we got from the last time.

      • John R

        My understanding is that the Coliseum was paid by Vespasian from the spoils of sacking Jerusalem. Kroenke has already plundered legions of municipalities through TIF; at least he could give us back a free stadium.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Ha. I might add that Rome didn’t exactly ride the Coliseum to continued prosperity, nor is the city very prosperous today by its own historic standards. …Perhaps the NFL in STL is an apt metaphor.

          • John R

            Certainly both function(ed) as a distraction for the masses. “The Emperor’s grain policies are crap but my god, look at that huge ass stadium he’s building!”

  • T-Leb

    Green parking lots are cool. Need about 20 more ideas like that to make this project remotely palatable.

    • I thought you loved rain-water gardens? 🙂

      • T-Leb

        I do, but I’d like to see about 20 more interesting things before I would ever be excited long term on this project.
        I want to see A LOT more about plans for Riverfront Trail. I’d also like to see the NFL fund 100% the entire Mississippi River Greenway to Jefferson Barracks. This would be in line with their goals to get kids and families active, maybe NIKE/Addidas could throw in some $$. Where is the FREE bike valet or secure bike parking? Is there public restrooms/changing rooms available anywhere? I’m looking for something that I can say “WOW, I can get behind this.” — the NFL experience doesn’t do that for me, so maybe announce some large outdoor concert configurations/design aspects if this stadium is going to support multiple uses.

        • 1) Riverfront Trolley (“Clang! Clang! Clang!” it goes!) from revived Chouteau’s Landing district to the stadium
          2) Small marina for private/public boats
          3) Preserved Laclede Power Station (possibly as Trolley roundhouse)
          4) Mid/highrises at the Bottle District
          5) Revitalized McGuire storage building (Schlafly Brewery?!)
          5) Riverfront Trail incorporated into stadium’s lookout deck
          6) Branch St./Ironhorse Trestle completed
          7) STL Workhouse removed/relocated
          8) Ferry from the east side (port at Casino Queen?)
          9) Hydroelectric turbines (not really — my understanding is the Mighty Miss is too slow to make this worthwhile)
          10) Removal of I-70 in favor of Memorial Boulevard
          11) development plan for Near North Riverfront district
          12) development plan for Columbus Square/Carr Square
          13) Northside docking for riverboats/excursion barges

          /spitballin’

          • STLady

            Cure for cancer
            Flying pigs
            Reasonable republicans

            /also spitballing/

        • I completely agree. I really like that idea about them funding the entire Mississippi River Greenway – I’ll float that idea to someone I know.

  • Interested

    If you look at the elevation you can see the cotton belt building mural re-purposed into the design.

  • jeremy

    What is that big thing to the east of the proposed site?

    • Daron

      the river? Maybe you mean Lumiere to the south?

    • Alex Ihnen

      To the north (to the right of the stadium on the next to last image) appears to be a parking garage, but without more information, I don’t know.

      • John R

        A garage or other structure there makes a whole lot of sense to screen out the blighting view of the tank operation…. I hate that thing and the electrical substation. Too bad we can’t go really big and get rid of those suckers as that would open up a lot more redevelopment potential.

    • That big thing to the east? It’s the Mississippi River. 🙂

      But yeah, as Alex said, the structure to the north (right side on last two pictures) looks like a parking garage. Based on the grade, Much of this will likely be buried or partially-buried. I’d like to see another of those actually, since not everybody</i? gives a hoot about tailgating, and that would help reduce the overall parking footprint.

      • John R

        You must have a better eye than I do as I don’t see them. If they do parking, btw, they should be done like the Banks project where towers will go above.