Shimmering Strip ‘A’s’ Vegas ballpark backdrop


New renderings revealed for Oakland Athletics Vegas stadium Image: Oakland Athletics

The Major League Baseball (MLB) team Oakland Athletics’ vision of their Las Vegas ballpark came into focus on March 5th with the release of new stadium renderings.

‘LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL’ stated that the 33,000-fan capacity stadium design features a fixed roof and tiered seating with unobstructed sightlines from every seat. The roof’s design features five overlapping layers, inspired by traditional baseball pennants, with the wall behind the outfield featuring the world’s largest cable-net glass window – facing the Tropicana Avenue-Las Vegas Boulevard intersection – with the Strip serving as the backdrop.

The Oakland Athletics (often referred to as the Oakland ‘A’s’) are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the American League West Division. The team plays its home games at the Oakland Coliseum.

The 63,000-capacity Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is a multipurpose stadium in Oakland, California, United States. It is part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex, with the adjacent 19,200-capacity Oakland Arena, near Interstate 880.

The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada (US), which is known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos. The Strip, as it is known, is about 4.2 mi (6.8 km) long, and is immediately South of the Las Vegas City limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester, but is often referred to simply as ‘Las Vegas’.

New renderings revealed for Oakland Athletics Vegas stadiumImage: Oakland Athletics

‘LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL’ further stated that the window allows natural lighting inside the stadium while also limiting heat created when there is direct sunlight to the South of the stadium.

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is the design lead, with the HNTB serving as the sports/hospitality designer and the Architect of Record on the $1.5 billion project.

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is a Copenhagen (Denmark), New York (US), London (UK), Barcelona (Spain), Shenzhen (China), Los Angeles (US), Oslo (Norway), and Zürich (Switzerland)-based group of architects, designers, builders, and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, interior design, landscape design, product design, and research and development (R&D). The office is currently involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

The HNTB Corporation is an engineering and architecture firm that specializes in infrastructure design. HNTB was founded in Kansas City, Missouri (US) in 1914 as a railroad bridge design firm.

An Architect of Record is the architect or architecture firm whose name appears on a building permit issued for a specific project on which that architect or firm performed services.

New renderings revealed for Oakland Athletics Vegas stadiumImage: Oakland Athletics

Maintained ‘A’s’ Owner, John Fisher, “We wanted a design that was unique and would fit in with the incredible innovations and excitement that is the Strip. Bjarke and I actually came in a little over a year ago, and we walked to the site, we went up to the Tropicana and we looked at the Strip from the roof and looked South, East, North, and West and were just thrilled with the opportunity.”

Plans call for the ballpark to feature an 18,000-square-foot jumbotron, which would be the largest stadium screen in Major League Baseball (MLB). The MLB team New York Mets currently have the largest – 17,400 square feet – at their home venue – the 41,800-capacit Citi Field in the borough of Queens (US).

Bjarke Bundgaard Ingels, Founder and Creative Director of BIG, sent out a statement which read, “Our design for the new Vegas home for the ‘A’s’ is conceived in response to the unique culture and climate of the City. Five pennant arches enclose the ballpark shading from the Nevada sun while opening to the soft daylight from the North. A giant window frames a majestic view of the life of the Strip and the iconic New York-New York hotel skyline. All direct sunlight is blocked, while all the soft daylight is allowed to wash the field in natural light.”

The ‘A’s’ decided against a retractable roof because of the Las Vegas Summer heat. The large curtain wall and other openings will allow sunlight and fresh air to enter the stadium.

New renderings revealed for Oakland Athletics Vegas stadiumImage: Oakland Athletics

Added Fisher, “To be able to design a stadium that felt like you’re outside but focusing on fan comfort led us to the design that we have. One of the things that we concluded after looking at a number of other stadiums in warm-weather areas is that the roofs are not opened as much as you think they might be. So, we decided that what was most important here was to design a great building that felt like you were outside but that was above all comfortable every day of the year.”

Plans also call for 2,500 parking spots on the site, with a plaza that will lead up to the stadium. Fisher said the ‘A’s’ and the Tropicana Owner Bally’s Corporation are working on plans for the area. Potential features include activities, food trucks, pop-up retail spaces, and art.

The Bally’s Corporation is a gaming, betting and interactive entertainment company headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island (US). It owns and operates 15 casinos across 10 States, a horse track in Colorado and online sports betting operations in 14 States. The company was founded in 2004 as the BLB Investors.
Continued Fisher, “It has shaded areas and is a gathering area that has art as well. Art is going to be an important part of what we look forward to bringing to Las Vegas … from local artists and other artists around the world.”

Despite the stadium’s exterior resembling the famed Sydney Opera House in Australia, Fisher said it wasn’t a direct inspiration for the design.

The 5,738-capacity Sydney Opera House is a multivenue performing arts center in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Located on the foreshore of the Sydney Harbour, it is widely regarded as one of the world’s most famous and distinctive buildings and a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture.

Fisher further stated, “I think he (Ingels) would say that the vision is their own. But every great designer takes into their vision other great things they see elsewhere in the world. But I hope long term other people will look at our building and say … that reminds us a lot of the ‘A’s’ ballpark in Vegas.”

The Tropicana (a 35-acre property that includes a hotel, casino, performance theater, and convention and meeting space) is expected to close on April 2nd to begin preparations for the Rat Pack-era property to be demolished. The process is expected to take up to a year to complete, with the ‘A’s’ planning to begin construction on the ballpark in April 2025. It’s expected to be ready for the 2028 season.

The ballpark will be built on nine acres of the 35-acre Tropicana site, with three acres of the shared space planned for the plaza. The Bally’s plans to construct a hotel-casino on the remaining acreage.

Details of the resort process will be developed in the coming months.

Concluded Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim, “The ‘A’s’ have created a remarkable design that adds to the rich fabric of must-see attractions in Las Vegas … We are thrilled for the opportunity to develop a comprehensive site plan at this iconic location.”

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