Sports teams have for years done some interesting things to jazz up their stadiums, but in recent years, some of the innovations have gotten really unique. This week a minor league baseball team in Texas announced they are considering putting in a “lazy river” behind the outfield for fans to chill out on a hot day in style.
There are of course legendary classics like the ivy covered outfield at Wrigley Field in Chicago or the soul crushing and/or dream making Green Monster at Fenway in Boston, but some rely more on modern technology than just cool architecture or fauna. In 1989, The Rogers Center in Toronto became the first MLB stadium to have a retractable roof.
The “lazy river” is cool, and it definitely owes a debt of gratitude for inspiration for what Chase Field in Arizona added in recent years. The swimming pool behind right field definitely became the place to watch the game on a scorching Phoenix night.
The touch tank in Tampa Bay lets fans actually get close and touch rays. The team is of course called the Rays, so the owner was smart enough to realize it was better to touch aquatic creatures than run on the field and try to stroke a 50 million dollar player.
In the NFL, there are also some cool innovations that have taken place. Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco has become the forefront for technological advances that will likely sweep stadiums globally, with cutting edge apps one can download to have nearly anything brought to their seats. They’ve also got a cool in-house museum and even an art collection on display.
Globally, there are some soccer stadiums that are truly breathtaking. Braga Stadium in Portugal is carved into a granite quarry overlooking the city.
Estadio Chivas in Mexico has been compared to a volcano, so even if the team isn’t doing that well, there’s still plenty of fire in the atmosphere.
We’ll leave you with what’s arguably the coolest stadium of them all. Sapporo in Japan is very cold and getting grass to grow even under a retractable roof seemed impossible with so much potential snow on the roof. The solution? The Sapporo Dome field slides in and out of the stadium, and can be switched out for soccer or baseball.