Over the past decades, we have witnessed the disappearance of local football stadiums from our urban realm. These stadiums, which embodied decades’ worth of happiness, excitement, sorrow and memories, are being torn down in favor of new real-estate developments because these facilities are not economically advantageous. Old stadiums are demolished whilst new, modern stadiums are being built on the outskirts of the city, far away from the urban continuity and the local community. Monumental, publicly-funded sports facilities are being branded as the pride of the city, despite making little to no contribution to the city or its people and, instead, becoming lone icons of mayors and politicians. The urban stadium, as a building capable of drawing thousands of people together for a collective experience, has the potential to create significant urban opportunities for the development of the community and the economy, and to become a meaningful urban center.
This project aspires to expose the football field to the city, make it accessible to all classes of society, and through it, create an open urban public plaza. The StadiumPlaza will feature intensive community programs and serve as a multi-layered public space offering social, leisure and commercial amenities, alongside residential developments. Passers-by become an integral part of what is taking place on the field, and the “stadium”, as a social condenser inserted into the urban fabric, turns the football game from an exclusive event into another facet of day-to day urban life, designed to be experienced by everyone.