• E_Koko

    Bad news, this stadium design is already obsolete. It turns out that multi-use spaces are the future of staduim design.


  • adam

    Does this look like a design that is connected to our city? I see a 50 yard, double track, un-walkable divider between the city and stadium. Do 3 paved, elevated points of access fit the narrative of a walkable, pedestrian friendly concept? Early renditions touted connectivity to our great river, those large extending plazas and connecting points have been phased out and now we have a video focused on in stadium amenities. Look close, I see a stadium on an island. In terms of its connectivity, reminds me more of a river casino.

    • Chicagoan

      That’s a good point. Unfortunately, it’s location between a large river and railroad tracks will do that. Perhaps they could add an additional pedestrian bridge. I still can’t believe they need to clear all of this great space for a football stadium. Isn’t there someplace else in town do this?

      It’s a nice design, though.

      • There are those in St. Louis who would fight to preserve an outhouse, so long as it’s made of red brick and built before 1930.

        If you visit the proposed stadium district you’ll realize that there’s nothing that separates it, really, from any other city’s defunct industrial corridor. As a memorial to this river city’s rich (but largely bygone) manufacturing and shipping history? Sure, I guess — but St. Louis turned its back on the river loooong ago.

        The reality today is that there are large swaths of vacant and/or contaminated land, some empty buildings, a Corrections facility, a smattering of a dozen or so industrial businesses, a few more commercial businesses and an electrical substation.

        There are those pieces that can (and hopefully will) be knitted into the final project — the N. Broadway businesses, the Laclede Power Co. building, the William Kerr Foundation building, Al’s, maaaaybe a portion of the Farmworks complex — but for the most part, demolition isn’t the worst thing. And it has the possibility of further solidifying/strengthening the denser N. Broadway section past the new river bridge, as well as the neighborhoods immediately west/northwest of the project site, something not likely (or possible with the current land use.

        • Chicagoan

          Well dang, I think you just sold me on this proposed site!

          I’ve never been to this particular part of the city, but I’ve just assumed that it’s got to have some potential for something other than a football field.

          I mostly just really don’t like the NFL, specifically how their stadiums maintain great locations in American cities.

          Then, they take this location, build a nice looking stadium surrounded by a sea of parking lots, and only use it 8 times a year. Maybe a little more if the team makes the playoffs.

          • John R

            I think KevinB is shorting the potential for the area… if the Rams bolt and we proceed with GRG’s Plan B, achieving even half of that vision will be huge for the City.

            It’s unfortunate that this stadium urgency has to happen now instead of 5 years down the road when we’ve paid off the Dome and looking at what needs to happen next. If five years down the road in this alternative universe no additional redevelopment occurred as a result of the momentum that already was showing itself and GRG was making no progress with its planning, then I’d be more receptive to the argument that maybe it really is a wasteland. But I firmly believe it’s not and I am confident the area has a bright future (even if) a stadium isn’t a part of it,

          • That’s the rub, really — the potential of the site. Yes, it would be great if this river-adjacent section of the city just north of downtown was redeveloped as a hub for innovative technologies/global shipping/Blues bars and recording studios/luxury living/renewable energy/whatever. That would, of course, be the preferred use as it activates the entire area almost every day of the year.

            Sadly, St. Louis isn’t in a position where it can actually court or land that kind of development…and likely won’t be for many more decades. This project, if built, fills in a piece of the larger puzzle. It may not be a pretty piece

    • I keep going back to Soldier Field’s location in Chicago. Not downtown, but near downtown. Isolated from city by highway infrastructure. Further isolated by nearby train tracks.

      The difference there though is that those train tracks ALSO (or only?) carry heavy rail commuter trains (Metra). If St. Louis did the same — utilizing existing commercial lines to feed Illinois/north suburb heavy rail passenger trains, then the proximity to rails becomes an asset, not a barrier.

      • Chicagoan

        My long-term dream is to eventually see Lake Shore Drive torn up and turned into a boulevard (Field Boulevard, they’d call it). I think one day, Chicago will realize that dream.
        But yes, Soldier Field is close to a Metra station (18th Street, on the Electric line, occasionally serviced by the South Shore line), though the station is a dump and needs a renovation.
        Also close is the Roosevelt station (Green, Orange, and Red Line), which a lot of Bears fans will use on Sundays.
        I think the Soldier field renovation was crap, but the best thing the architect did was put the vast majority of the parking underground.
        All but one parking lot was torn up and that remaining lot is soon to be the Lucas Museum. Only a single, fancy-looking parking garage will remain.
        I just can’t get over how much parking NFL stadiums require, just crazy.

        • Folks in St. Louis have the same dream for the depressed I-70 (sorry, I-44) lanes through downtown. And, frankly, the traffic on this 1.5 mile stretch (Poplar to Cass) is so light that it really should have happened already, in concert with the City+Arch+River project. Instead, CAR and MODoT doubled down on the highway by investing in unnecessary ramp switches, surface street closures and a one-block “lid”. If the stadium were built, this commonsense boulevard would scoot right up to it before transitioning to a (hopefully-renewed) N. Broadway business/entertainment district.

          For Lakeshore Drive, I don’t see it ever being fully “boulevardized”. Through downtown, it kind of already is (what with the stop lights and intersections) but north and south, no way — it’s just too important a feeder for inbound/outbound traffic. And really, LSD fits in pretty well (on the northside, at least) contextually as an urban highway. No massive retaining walls or separation, consistent access points to the lakefront throughout, and an outstanding park/lake experience from downtown to Loyola.

          I do remember something coming across my desk a couple years back for updates to the northern stretch of LSD, including dedicated BRT or light rail lanes to reduce congestion. Don’t think that ever went anywhere though…

          • Chicagoan

            Good points about LSD. It’s pretty tame downtown with intersections and stop lights, like you said.

            And, elsewhere, it’s not awful looking and there are plenty of access points for pedestrians.

            Regarding the one-block lid, I thought it was disappointing to not see more done, but that lid is going to make a serious difference.

            Trying to cross, between the old courthouse and the arch was a terrifying experience before they started this renovation. This will make things infinitely better.

            Maybe they’ll construct a second lid at some point?

          • Alex Ihnen

            But it won’t. You still have to cross the one-way highway between the Old Courthouse and the part across the street, and all traffic is now pushed to this street as people try to navigate a much more confusing maze of blocked and one-way downtown streets.

          • Chicagoan

            So, this lid is actually a bust, more or less? I was really impressed by the renderings, though I didn’t fully consider the ramifications it’d have on traffic.

          • I know you mentioned it as a problem, chicagoan, but I always felt the “safe crossing” issue was a non-starter. You wait for your signal, then you go. You wait for your signal, then you go. Just like any other street in any other city. If the cars or pedestrians aren’t obeying the signals, well, people are a-holes and some targeted ticketing/citations would fix that right up.

            The Lid, while pretty, was basically an attempt to remove that car-pedestrian interaction that a City is supposed to have; basically telling all involved — drivers and pedestrians — that we don’t trust the intelligence or consideration of either of you. Think about it — imagine, for instance, rerouting Michigan Avenue to Wabash through the Loop so pedestrians can “more safely” access Millennium Park? It’d be nuts, right? And, really, condescending to us, as human beings.

            The end result is that, as Alex said, folks still have to enter a crosswalk (gasp!) to access the park that accesses the lid that accesses the Archgrounds, and a previously useful north-south road (Memorial Drive) was terminated and turned into what amounts to a highway on/off ramp. Not to mention the removal of three other east-west access points…

          • Alex Ihnen

            That’s just my take. My opinion is that most people will be happy with it because it’s new and shiny. The new museum entrance should be cool, but that didn’t need the lid. Or the lid with Memorial Drive in place could have been welcome. Basically no one’s going to see the museum entrance driving by…in the city a mix of approaches and exposures adhering to the street grid would have been a best case outcome. Again, just my opinion, and it is probably in the minority.

    • John R

      The apparent lack of any realistic, significant mixed-use opportunities to compliment the stadium is a major reason for my skepticism about the project. This isn’t like say the riverfront stadium in Cincinnati, where the site planning fit well into “The Banks” project sporting great public space, corporate office, hotel, residential and retail on the Ohio riverfront, We just don’t have that potential here with that site plan. Basically what this is doing instead is taking 90 acres off the property tax rolls and foreclosing on the future ability to add more residential and office jobs.

    • Alex Ihnen

      No, and no. The PR on the design is BS. ICYMI – we looked back at the 1995 promises and what’s being said today: https://nextstl.com/2015/09/on-selling-the-nfl-to-st-louis-again/

      That said, if the barriers are to remain in place, namely I-44, but others as well, perhaps a stadium here on an island is fine. Maybe any new jobs and residents should be more focused in, or connected to, the CBD and west.

      • “Maybe any new jobs and residents should be more focused in, or connected to, the CBD and west.”

        I assume by “west” you mean west of the stadium. If that’s the case, then I agree wholeheartedly. There’s nothing wrong with the stadium existing as an island. What I do abhor though is that our city’s downtown exists as an island…north, south and (to a lesser extent) west.

        When considering “what could be” as far as larger impact of the stadium, I always think of it in terms of the Near North corridor. If post-stadium eco-devo efforts are focused westward…Bottleworks, Columbus Square, Tucker Triangle, Carr Square and on out to Jefferson/Pruitt Igoe, then perhaps the hard boundaries of downtown get softened, both physically and psychologically. If downtown ceases to be an island, perhaps you start to see more small(ish) businesses and companies set their sights on the northside as a new option, perhaps those large companies that fled to the county see downtown proper as a more viable, centralized location.

        I don’t even watch football, yet I want this stadium. Whatever happens on N. Broadway by virtue of it will/should happen organically. But there’s definitely an opportunity to use it as a jumping off point to grow the Near North area into a more successful, more dynamic area. It’s right next to downtown and, sad to say, probably 50% of city residents won’t go there. Whatever their reasons, it’s a reality. And that’s a shame considering it’s literally connected to the region’s center.

      • adam

        Thanks Alex, I had seen the article you referenced. Not saying I oppose building the new stadium at all. It’s adequate for the market and I think it will serve to ground the north riverfront nicely. My personal opinion is that north riverfront development expectations directly around the new stadium should be tempered. I do however, think there is potential for it to have an impact on urban development in the city beyond the north riverfront area. Building the new football stadium will serve to anchor the northern edge of downtown, expanding development borders in the core of downtown beyond today’s existing mental boundaries. I think the same could be said about the NGA Headquarters proposal and that would be a good thing for the city. Bright, open, clean, green acreage is not my idea of ideal urban development, but in this instance it represents a significant improvement to the current state.

        • Alex Ihnen

          I think you may be right.

      • John R

        It’s a bad location for such a huge, event dependent venue. Is there another decent American city that doesn’t have mixed-use commercial that includes residential as part of its central waterfront? For better or worse, this is the best and really only location for that to happen to any real degree and that opportunity will be lost for all practical purposes if the stadium is plopped down there we’ve really given up on that.

        I don’t necessarily believe we should target it in the short-term over the CBD, but it is excellent territory for future growth of Greater Downtown.

        • I see a lot of successful cities with working waterfronts eschew residential for focused entertainment or passive recreation…sports stadiums, museums, park land, etc…or for practical/industrial use. Sure, some have some but usually as an outlier to the amenities listed above.

          Personally, I’d much rather see highrises at the Bottle District and a deliberate replacement of Columbus Square courtyard apartments/homes with new mixed-use, mixed-income mid/lowrise buildings straight west to the Tucker triangle. And if the stadium site design is done correctly, then access to the river for these new businesses and residents is worth the extra couple of minutes it takes from not being located directly on the riverfront.

          Going back to me and chicagoan’s discussion — look at Chicago’s lakefront: one ugly (personal opinion) residential building built east of Lake Shore Drive for fifteen miles of waterfront — the rest is all the things mentioned above. And the area’s immediately east of that highway are some of the most sought after views in the city. Granted, looking out over Lake Michigan is a lot different than looking out over the Mississippi, but the point still stands — if your central city can be successfully developed, then you’re free to recreationalize your waterfront.

          • Chicagoan

            I like the Lake Point Tower! Built by Mies van der Rohe protégés. I can’t believe they allowed it to be built east of the river, though.

            St. Louis is kind of embracing this “waterfront as recreation” thing, too, right?

            I know there will be bike paths, among other things, along the Mississippi as part of the City Arch River movement.

          • Kiiiiind of, but not really?

            If the stadium site were to be built as planned, the 1.5 mile stretch between Chouteau and the New Mississippi River Bridge will have a pretty consistent “recreational” vibe to it. Existing walking/bike paths are being improved, and the general riverfront experience in front of the Archgrounds should be better too. Riverboat tours and helicopter rides will continue, and maybe we’ll see a more permanent docking area (or areas) for river cruisers like the Spirit of Peoria, Viking, MIssissippi Queen, etc. There’s a few planned “event spaces” along the riverfront too. I’d expect a couple of “new views” via lookout points, as well.

            There’s a couple of opportunities for river’s edge activity further north, including the start of The Trestle (think Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail/606, but not as connective, popular or pretty), but really, after St. Louis Avenue, the riverfront takes a heavy turn toward industrial use. I’m always disappointed when Amtrak takes the northern route into the City via the Merchants Bridge, because a visitor’s first impression of the City is mounds of scrap metal, chemical tanks and loading yards. Good to have the business, of course, but sucks that it’s the first thing out-of-towners see.

            Given my druthers, I’d do two things: 1) a tourist-y trolley on the riverfront constantly traveling between the stadium site and a revived Chouteau’s Landing; and 2) Regularly-scheduled board-and-debark riverboat excursions to Mosenthein Island a few miles upriver.

            A fellow can dream…

          • John R

            Chicago has tens of thousands of residents living within a couple blocks of the lakefront… the “Bottle District” situation would be more like if 44/70 ran yards from the North Riverfront Trail rather than 1/4 mile away.

            btw, I think your vision of a high density Bottle District and re-built Columbus Square has some merit, but just a couple thoughts:

            1) accomplishing that would be almost entirely independent of the stadium and
            2) a successful mixed-use district on the riverfront across the highway will bring more value/spur more redevelopment opportunities than a stadium.

            At its core, GRG’s Plan B is a mix of riverfront recreation and vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. If successful, it would be more of a draw to the riverfront and serve as a nice amenity for the surrounding area. The stadium site, however, essentially would be parking lot and wasted space on non-event days no matter how much we want to frame the space with the fancy fly-over and renderings. Other than slamming the stadium up against the Stan Span where the tank operation and jail facility are, I just don’t see this area as a good use of scarce, non-industrial riverfront land.

  • northstar

    Technically speaking, the land use shown in these renderings is completely retarded. There are these things called “parking ramps” which can be many stories tall, used for temporarily storing motorized conveyances called “automobiles”, and which allow for bars, restaurants, condos, etc, right next to the stadium, instead of many blocks away and across a field of parking lots. Lack of parking hasn’t prevented Fenway Park or Wrigley Field from selling out all the time. Lack of surface parking hasn’t made Target Field, CenturyLink or SafeCo fields unviable. It doesn’t keep people away from AT&T Ballpark in SF or Rogers Centre in Toronto. So why on earth must STL waste a giant swath of otherwise useful riverfront on surface lots? There is *always* somewhere to park in downtown, the last thing we need is more parking. Also, there are 8 football games a season. We’re seriously entertaining building a facility that eats up that much land, for 8 games a year?

  • Chicagoan

    It’s a nice design. Also, very clever to call the parking lots “tailgating space”.

  • Chicagoan

    National Car Rental Field?


  • Luftmentsch

    Reminds me of another famous football-related video.

  • SnakePlissken

    Was this filmed on the back of a pig?

    • trackmd

      No… Because pigs can’t fly

  • jhoff1257

    Are there plans to turn the railroad into a double track though here?

    • John R

      interesting observation.

  • RJ

    This stadium just keeps getting better and better. My only complaint is the seating capacity. The average NFL stadium now holds around 71,000 seats and if KC and Denver can have 76,000 seats in an outdoor stadium why can’t StL?

    • Don

      The most commonly cited reason for a smaller field is the larger fields are harder to sell out which is required to avoid TV blackouts. KC and Denver have traditions that don’t exist in many if not most NFL cities.

      Too big a stadium has been a Jaguars issue for many years with them finally closing off/taking out a large block of seats.

      Last I read, this stadium would be 64000 which seems a little too small. Something closer to 70k seems right to me.

      This may all be academic. I just don’t have a good feeling this will be built.