KSS-engineered first MLB event in London Stadium



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MLB and KSS in London Image: KSS

It took just 24 days for the London Stadium to get converted from football mode to MLB’s European debut venue. The London Stadium is famous as an arena for holding the 2012 Olympic Games, Premier League football, major concerts and athletics.

After carrying out a detailed study, the leading architecture and design practice KSS designed the overlay configuration of the London Stadium to host the event. Famous baseball teams Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees’ game held in the stadium this June was a total sell-out.

It was way back in 2014 that KSS sat down in talks with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and MLB as regards holding baseball games. The architecture major provided the technical inputs to MLB to enable ball-flight assessment against a historic database.

From 2014 to 2018, KSS did the complete homework – seating plan arrangement, field layout options – for the 2019 MLB London Series overlay. It also included the optimum field dimensions, in particular the key dimensions associated with center field, left and right foul lines.
Ahead of the Series, the playing surface was covered with artificial turf – 140,000 square feet – and materials for the infield diamond was shipped from the US. Fence padding for the field’s perimeter was brought in from Toronto, Canada.

Andy Simons, Director of KSS, said, “We are proud of the success of the project and the impressive speed of overlay works following the final match of the football season on the 4 May 2019. This involved a retraction of the west, north and south stands, and partial removal of the front of the east stand together with a significant field of play overlay on the athletics track and football pitch for the MLB fixtures. As architects, we are delighted to have played a major part in the creation of an authentic baseball experience in the capital, transporting ‘America’s favorite pastime’ into a state-of-the-art baseball extravaganza for players and supporters.”

KSS is a long-time supporter of Coliseum and we will come to know more about the company which specializes in major sports venues and training facilities, educational projects and residential developments at the upcoming Coliseum Summit Europe, 2020, March 18-19, to be held in London.

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