Learning from lockdown: Is the roar of a capacity crowd too much to hope for?

Stadiums- Filters and thresholds

Scott Brownrigg’s Neil MacOmish dreams of ways to give sports fans the experience they crave

As I write, lockdown restrictions have changed in England, limiting social and leisure contact to bubbles of six people, either inside or outside. The statement says that is not applicable to “organised sports”, but it is unclear on whether this is for spectators or participants. Many questions remain - and further restrictions are expected to be announced any moment.

The latest changes may, on the face of it, reverse recent aspirations to try to return crowds to stadiums. Here lies one of the problems for designers and managers of stadiums now or in the future: understanding that the current pandemic, while being the most serious in 100 years, is very unlikely to be the last. How does architecture and the built environment respond so quickly to such rapid change?

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