Venue Design Guide



Project Overview


This Venue Design Guide outlines the general design requirements, recommendations and considerations required to create a venue ideal for Major League Soccer. 


It defines criteria central to providing players, guests, press, staff and other service groups with a first class, professional facility.  While it references many important considerations that are part of a multi-use facility and at FIFA sanctioned competitions, its focus is to outline optimal design specifications and best design practices for a Major League Soccer stadium.


The goal of this Venue Design Guide is to provide direction to design stadia that are functional, efficient, flexible, fan friendly, environmentally responsible, safe, clean and convenient in order to stimulate attendance and maximize revenue opportunities.  Additional goals of this Guide are to help grow the popularity of the sport, enhance the in-stadium environment, recognize the existence of existing facilities that might be retrofit for play in MLS and distinguish between recommended and required design parameters.


Major League Soccer recognizes that each stadium design project is unique with local site conditions that will dictate specific approaches.  MLS will consult with the stadium design team as necessary to assure a professional and high-quality final product.


July 2008


Venue Design Guide

Chapter Headings


1.      Field

            1.1 Orientation

            1.2 Size

            1.3 Minimum

            1.4 Maximum

            1.5 Game Equipment and Markings

            1.6 Board Positioning and Advertising

            1.7 Technical Equipment

            1.8 Root Zone Warming System

            1.9 Other sports


2.      Seating Bowl

                  2.1 Viewing

                     2.1.1 Optimal Viewing Distance

                     2.1.2  Sightlines

                     2.1.3. Recommended ‘c’ values

                     2.1.4  Tiers

                     2.1.5. Maximum rake

                  2.2 Seating

                     2.2.1 Lateral Aisles

                     2.2.2 Reserved Seating

                     2.2.3 Premium Seating

                     2.2.4 Aisles

                    2.2.5 Vertical Aisles 

                   2.3 Roof Coverage

                  2.4 Vomitories

                     2.4.1. Spectators

                     2.4.2. Pitch Access

                     2.4.3. Players Tunnel

                     2.4.4. Vehicle Access

                     2.4.5. Guard/Barrier requirements


3.      Circulation

                  3.1 Entry

                  3.2 General Access Turn style

                  3.3 Other Entry

                  3.4 Concourse

                     3.4.1. Concourse Circulation and Safety

                     3.4.2. Size of Concourse

                     3.4.3. Concourse Design – General

                  3.5 Stairs, Ramps, Elevators, and Escalators

                     3.5.1. Stairs

                     3.5.2. Ramp

                     3.5.3. Elevator

                     3.5.4. Escalator

                 3.6  Normal Mode

                 3.7  Emergency Mode



4.      Accessibility

                  4.1 Sightlines

                  4.2 Companion seating (ADA issue)

                  4.3 Ratio, Distribution and Design

                  4.4 Visual/Hearing Impairment

                  4.5 Concessions

                  4.6 Parking


5.      Team Areas

            5.1.Home Team Area

            5.2 Visiting Team Area

            5.3 Game Officials Area

            5.4 Administrative Area


6.      Media & Broadcast Facilities

                  6.1 Written Press Area

                  6.2 Radio Broadcast Area

                  6.3 Broadcast Area

                  6.4 TV Truck/Satellite Area

                  6.5 TV Broadcast Announce positions

                  6.6 Photographer Area


7.      Building Operations


(To be completed)


8.      Building Systems

                  8.1 Power

                  8.2 Emergency Power System

                  8.3 Event Lighting

                     8.3.1 Mounting Heights and Locations

                     8.3.2 Player View Angles

                     8.3.3 Shadown Control Design

                     8.3.4 Specifications

                     8.3.5 Environmental Requirements

                     8.3.6 Sustainable Design Requirements

                     8.3.7 Sports Lighting Commissioning

                     8.3.8 Glossary of Terms

                   8.4 Technology

                      8.4.1 Telephone/Communications

                      8.4.2 Security

                   8.5 Sound

                   8.6 Scoreboard

                   8.7 Video Board

                   8.8 Signage

                      8.8.1 Sponsor Signage

                      8.8.2 Way-finding Signage

                   8.9 Service Yard



1.1.                         Introduction


Major League Soccer has a strong preference for a natural grass playing surface, but where this not practicable, any non-temporary artificial surface used must meet Catergory 4 FIFA standards. It is understood that local climatic and topographical conditions, the number of events scheduled and construction/maintenance budgets will ultimately impact the field type utilized. 


The orientation of the field of play should be positioned in relation to the sun and prevailing weather      conditions.


Since MLS league operates between March and November, with games played between late afternoon and early evening, players, spectators and the media need to be protected from the glare of the sun at these times. The stadium envelope can greatly enhance the protection from the sun at these times if designed properly.


However for natural grass field consideration thought also needs to be given to the healthy growth of the grass. There needs to be enough light and air movement to allow the grass to grow.


There is a range in which the orientation is considered acceptable for these requirements highlighted. See diagram 2a. In general terms, a north- south orientation is considered ideal. However the average direction of the sun angle at halftime is the optimum orientation for positioning to allow for the sun.


      Prevailing wind and other physical characteristics of the site will influence this optimum orientation.


It is strongly recommended that the MLS Field footprint conforms to internationally accepted standards as well as all MLS suggested dimensions.  It shall include in its final Field site plan sufficient area(s) for team and match officials seating, ball persons locations, substitute player warm up areas, advertising field boards (rotational, LED or static); event day security personnel and ushers; event broadcast equipment and personnel, photographer areas; specific player ingress and egress location(s); required game equipment (i.e. goals and netting); possible event day storage (build-in areas near benches) as well as adequate pre-event accessibility for any ceremonies performers and off-day maintenance personnel. With the growing number of international matches hosted by MLS teams, it is strongly recommended that the playing field also meets accepted international standards.  See Diagram 2b.


1.2.             Size 


      It is mandated that MLS playing fields will be 360 feet in length and 225 feet in width.


1.3.             Minimum


It is strongly recommended that the wall to wall dimensions of the Field footprint be a minimum total of 425 feet from the north spectator wall to its southern counterpart; 255 feet at the goal lines extended to allow for field board and corner kick access; 285 feet at the midfield sidelines extended (i.e. 225 foot required field width; 15 feet from the sideline to the back of the team benches and Technical Areas; 15 additional feet from behind the benches/Technical Areas to the wall; 15 feet  from the midfield sideline to the field board ‘line and 15 feet from the field board ‘line’ to the wall on the sideline opposite the team bench areas.


1.4.             Maximum


It is required that the maximum playing surface crown or slope be no more than 1/2°  based on a 225 foot wide field. 


 Additional sideline space may be required and is mandated if a limited number of temporary field-level VIP seats are to be employed on either a one-off or permanent basis. These seats should be located only on the side of the field opposite the team benches and primary field broadcast location and not within 4 yards of any broadcast location. It is strongly recommended that these be limited in number and come with strict, written rules outlining spectator conduct during play. These VIP field-level seats should not adversely affect the sightline of any spectator sitting in any other spectator seating area(s).  Please see Section ____ for additional detail on this item.


  Additional space adjacent to the playing field (usually located behind each goal) shall be provided for substitute player warm up areas. This area should also allow for the circulation of ball persons, medical staff, security personnel, photographers and broadcast personnel. It is recommended that this space be a minimum of 16 feet deep by 278 feet wide. It shall be the same surface type as the actual playing field.


  It is recommended that a 12 foot wide area immediately adjacent to the field wall and extending completely around the playing field area and made of concrete or crushed stone (or possibly some other porous material) be part of the overall field level footprint to allow for pre-event set up and/or load out as well as off-day maintenance vehicle access so that its use helps minimizes damage to the actual playing field.


 Any vehicle and equipment access point is required to be appropriate in size to allow for oversized and over the road vehicles to enter the field level via an access ramp for event day set up and off-day work. This access should have a minimum height clearance of 14 feet high with a 16 foot high clearance strongly recommended. The corresponding tunnel area should also be wide enough to accommodate tractor trailer size vehicles with the access tunnel for these types of vehicles of sufficient grade from its original stadium entry point to the field entry point to allow unimpeded access.


 It is strongly recommended that the player and/or match official entry points be from a midfield location, usually on the West side. All field entrances should be protected from the public view and out of the range of projectiles and include a retractable awning or covering that can be extended accordion-like for player/match official entry and exit onto and from the playing field. It should be quickly retracted after each use.


1.5.                         Game Equipment and Markings


 It is required that the following being part of regulation equipment used on the Field at MLS stadiums:


a.    Soccer goals and nets with ability to install permanent sleeves (and caps) for

                 international-style goals. See Diagram 2c.


b.        Bench shields should only be used during inclement weather, when a safety issue exists or when required for a specific match.  Such equipment shall minimize the impact to spectator sightlines.  The approximate dimensions for bench shields are 6.5 feet high, 15.75 feet wide and 4.75 feet deep. Please see Section ____ for additional detail on this item.


c.         At least one (1) replacement goal and at least two (2) extra corner flags shall be stored on site and immediately available to the playing field area on game day if needed.


d.       The use of four corner flags are required. The use of midfield flags are optional. Any flag used should be of rigid construction and conform to MLS and/or international specifications (i.e. be 5 feet high) with all flags using the same color for the small flag attached to each pole.


e.        Each Team bench shall have the ability to seat at least 20 people comfortably.


1.6.                                           Advertising Board Positioning


Advertising boards can be located around the playing field. They should be no higher than 3’. The minimum recommended distance advertising boards can be positioned to the playing area is 13.1’ (4m ) from the touchlines and 16.4’ (5m) behind the goal reducing to 9.8’ (3m) near the corner flags. (See diagram 2b and 2c).


Positioning of advertising boards should not;


  1. Endanger players, official or others.
  2. Obstruct the views of the spectators to the field
  3. Obstruct access to the field by players, officials, staff or spectators in the event of an emergency.


Advertising boards should not be constructed of materials that could endanger players.


1.7. Technical Area


Two substitute benches should be located equidistant either side of the half way line, parallel to the touchline. Each bench should be capable of Seating 22 people. (see diagram 2f).


They should be located at ground level and provide some protection and be designed to minimize obstruction of the view of spectators.


1.8. Root Zone Warming System


 In the colder, northern climates where the growing season can be shortened due to seasonal changes, the installation of a turf root zone warming system has become a desired addition.  The purpose of this system is to provide the root zone with the optimum temperature for accelerating growth and maintaining healthy turf well into the normal dormancy periods.  There are primarily three ways to achieve this; electric heat tape, hydronic tubing or forced air heat.


 The electric heat tape is available from a variety of manufacturers and traditionally has been the least expensive to install.  However, with the rising cost of copper wire, the increase in electric energy rates and its susceptibility to damage, this system is quickly losing its attractiveness.


 The most effective method, hydronic tubing, works much the same way as a large scale snowmelt system does.  The tubing, typically a cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing with an oxygen diffusion barrier is installed in the turf substrate sand below the root zone.  The field heat system is divided into 4 to 8 zones for controllability and maintenance.  Hot water, provided from a dedicated boiler or the facility’s main heat system, is run through the tubing to maintain the root zone temperature at 60 – 65 F.  For most facilities this is a load of 7 mil to 8 mil Btuh or approximately 70 Btuh/SF of turf area.  This figure is dependent on the location of the field, the local climate conditions and the intended use periods.


The third method of turf warming is the distribution of heated air to the root zone.  In many new fields, the network of perforated drainage pipe is being used to aerate the turf systems.  The field aeration system is connected to the main field drainage system through a series of isolation valves.  A patented reversing valve on the fan allows the field to be drawn down to eliminate excess moisture from the root zone or to be pressurized in order to oxygenate the turf to promote growth.  As an addition to the aeration system a duct heater can be installed to deliver heated air into the field drainage system and ultimately to the turf root zone.  Since this system is limited by the amount of air that the drainage system can effectively handle and the temperature of air that can be safely distributed, the heating load of this method is substantially less than the hydronic tubing method.  Typically the output of this system is 1.5 to 1.8 million Btuh.  Due to these limitations this approach is not as effective as the hydronic method.



1.9. Other Sports


The playing area can be designed to accommodate other sports. However it should be noted that if the viewing requirements (field dimensions) of these sports differ greatly from Soccer it will compromise the viewing experience as spectators will be further from the field than would be necessary. This effect on this standard of viewing should be considered at the beginning of the design stage. Stadia designed for a particular sport will always offer a better viewing experience than multi venue facilities. It is not recommended that a Soccer stadium be combined with an athletics track.


2.        SEATING BOWL


2.1   Viewing


Write Seating bowl design introduction. Include items such asSpectator proximity/intimacy;Safety

Where people different fan base wish to sit, side lines/behind goals.


Guest seating should be as close to the field of play as practical. In locating the first row, consider television broadcast implications, bench side location, position of scoreboard(s) sign boards, and other operational needs in conjunction with field size and setbacks set forth in Section __.  Also consider the installation of bench shields.  With the desire to create an intimate seating bowl as an important goal, locate certain low level seats immediately behind obstructions such as team benches sign boards, official’s tables and TV platforms. These obstructions should be considered in the design of the seating bowl, and may be considered acceptable to create the intended intimacy and proximity to the field of play. 


2.1.1.      Optimal Viewing Distance


It becomes difficult for spectators to see the Soccer ball beyond the maximum viewing distance of 190m, the preferred viewing distance is 150m from the furthest point of play. This can be simplified to a circle of 90m centered on the field of play (see diagram 3a). This Optimal viewing area should be considered when designing the bowl.


2.1.2.      Sightlines


The seating bowl needs to be designed in order to allow good views for all spectators to the field of play. In order to do this sightlines need to be established and maintained. The Sightline is the spectator’s ability to see the nearest point of interest on the field (point of focus) over the heads of other spectators in front. This height is known as the ‘c value’.


This also includes other obstructions such as advertising boards; the positioning of these boards needs to be agreed at an early stage when developing the sections to avoid blocked views later on.


Typically the ‘worst case’ section that needs to be designed is the closest seating section to the field of play, this normally occurs at the sidelines or at the corners, depending on geometry of the bowl. If sightline sections are derived from this point then in all other areas of the bowl sightlines will be maintained.


2.1.3.      Point of Focus


The point of focus when designing a stadium for soccer is the outer edge of the field of play or touchline. (see diagram 3b). The Highball line is also a secondary sightline that needs to be maintained (see


2.1.4.      Calculation


The geometry of the section to maintain sightlines is defined by the following calculation (see diagram 3c);


This formula generates sections that are curved not straight, the riser in each row actually increases in height the further back from the field it is.


For construction standardization in riser height is favored. The section can be divided into facets that provide some degree of standardization while maintaining optimum views. Increments of 0.5” in the stepping of a tier are acceptable.


2.1.5.      Recommend ‘C’ Values


The lower the seat is in relation to the field of play the narrower the angle of view is of the field. Therefore the disturbance caused by seats in front is higher (see diagram 3d). For this reason the ‘c’ value should be higher in lower tiers than in higher tiers.


The recommended minimum ‘c’ value for different tiers are as follows: For the Lower Tier – 3.54” (90mm) and for the Middle Tier and Above – 2.36” (60mm)


2.1.6.      Highball


When designing tiers the highball line should also be considered so that any tiers above do not obstruct the view of the ball in the air. This highball sightline is considered to be 49.2’ (15m) above the centre spot of the field. (see diagram 3b).


2.1.7.      Sightlines in Plan


Views to the touchline need to be considered in plan as well as in section. It is important that views to all corners are maintained.



2.1.8.      Tiers


In order to seat between 20,000 – 30,000 spectators there will be a number of tiers involved in the seating bowl. Separation of the reserved seating spectators from the premium facilities can be achieved by level.  Premium Seating should be centered on the reserved seating touchline, on the stand that will receive the least glare on during the game, typically the western stand.


Depending on the size and arrangement of the stadium an upper reserved seating tier may be required. When designing reserved seating tiers above premium tiers it is very important that there is no overlooking.



2.1.9. Angle of Rake


The angle of the final seat can be restricted by one of two factors, the rear row of the seats must fit the minimum of the following requirements;


  1. Angle of rake. The recommended angle of rake of the last row should not be greater than 34°. Seating above this angle are uncomfortable and can induces a sense of vertigo when descending radial aisles.


  1. Local staircase regulations may also govern the height of the last row. (For example in IBC2006 the maximum rise allowed in a step is 9”, in a typical row width of 36” only 3 stair treads of minimum 11” can fit so the maximum allowable rise is 27”.)


2.2.              Seating


As a minimum all spectators should be seated on self–rising individual seats with backrests. It is recommended each seat has armrests. Individual seats should be fixed to the structure (either riser or floor mounted). The construction of seats should be appropriate to withstand weathering in the local climate, fireproof and unbreakable. All seats should be individually marked and easily identified and locatable.


The final seating arrangements are dependent on a number of factors, controlled by egress in emergency situations, in general these are;


  1. Clear width (a combination of row width and seating specification).
  2. Access to the row.
  3. The number of rows in the tier.
  4. Furthest distance to the concourse.


Local and state code should be consulted for these requirements.



2.2.1. Lateral Aisles


2.2.2.      Reserved Seating


                Row Width – minimum 33”, 36” recommended

                Number of Seats in a Row – 22

                Minimum Seat Specification – 19” self rising with arms and backrests.


2.2.3.Premium Seating


Premium Seating Areas require higher seat specification and space standards.


For Club Seating, the following standards should be followed: Row Width – minimum 36”;

Number of Seats in a Row – 20 and Minimum Seat Specification – 21”


These seats should be padded self rising with arms, cupholders and backrests.


For Suite Seating, these standards are recommended: Row Width – minimum 36”;

Number of Seats in a Row – see section 5.2.3 and Minimum Seat Specification – 22”


These seats should also be padded self rising with arms with cupholders and backrests.



2.2.4. Aisles


Aisles should be provided so that no spectator has to travel further than the travel distance required by local code (under IBC 2006 this distance is 200’ from seat to concourse along the line of travel). They should be even with no trip hazards and surfaces should be slip resistant.


2.2.5. Radial Aisles


The minimum width of any radial aisles should be 48”. The final width is dependent on emergency egress requirements. These are based on the following factors;


  1. Smoke protected or non-smoke protected
  2. Flow rates of spectators to evacuate the stadium.


Local Code should be consulted on these requirements.



Steps in radial gangways will be determined by the gradient of the seating rows, they should be kept as uniform as possible within these requirements and should not exceed local code.



Lateral aisles have the potential to block the view of those seated directly behind as people circulate through them. The seating section must be designed so that sightlines are maintained over a standing person in the lateral aisle. (see diagram 3c). The minimum width should also be 48”.



2.3.            Roof Coverage


It is recommended that all new stadia have a roof providing coverage to the first row of seating. This provides;


  1. Atmosphere – a full roof reflects crowd noise back into the stadium to increase the intensity of the spectator experience.
  2. A good degree of protection from the elements for spectators


The inner edge of the roof should be transparent to allow the softening of the shadow created by the roof for comfort of players, spectators and cameras. (see diagram 3d)



2.4. Vomitories


2.4.1. Spectator


Spectator vomitories are an access point built into the stadium bowl to connect seating directly to concourses, commonly used to reduce travel distances. These approaches can be level or through stairs. The following requirements should be met;


  1. If the vomitory access uses steps they should comply to local code requirements.
  2. Approach to the vomitory should be from the front or sides only. If approached from behind barriers must be provided to redirect the approach to the sides.
  3. Consideration should be given to objects being accidentally knocked onto spectators passing through vomitories.
  4. If possible exit from a vomitory from the seating bowl should be elevated in order that spectators can see over the heads of people in front.


2.4.2. Pitch Access




2.4.3. Players Tunnel


Players and officials should have access from their changing rooms to the playing field. Typically this is a tunnel located on the west side of the stadium at the halfway line, although other positions and combinations are possible.


This should be a minimum of 13.1’ wide and 7.9’ high. A fireproof telescopic tunnel should be provided to protect players and officials as they enter and exit the field.


2.4.4. Vehicle Access


At least 1 Vehicle access point will be required onto the field for maintenance, emergency and concert use.


 2.4.5. Guard/Barrier Requirements


Guard rail heights, loads and openings should be adapted to local code.



3.           CIRCULATION


3.1.            Entry


Brief Introduction here


3.2.            GA Turnstile Provision


Turnstiles should be provided on a ratio of 1:750 spectators. It is better for the majority of circulation to happen outside the stadium therefore the turnstiles should be distributed evenly so that spectators can enter at a position in close proximity to their seats.


3.3.            Other Entry


Premium Facilities should have their own entrances normally with their own lobbies, club and suite entrances may ne separated. The number and distribution of these depends on the location of the premium facilities but should be designed to minimize distances within the stadium.


Media and Staff will also require their own entry and registration point.



Team entry and drop-off should be as close to the team facilities as possible and should be secured from other parts of the building.


3.4.  Concourses


Concourses generally provide two main functions;


a.       circulation of spectators to and from their seats during the event and during emergency evacuation

b.       access to concessions, restrooms and other spectator facilities


Both these functions must be considered in the design of this space. However it is important that access to facilities does not impede the safe circulation of spectators.


3.4.1. Concourse Circulation and Safety


Concourse circulation needs to be designed to allow smooth flow of spectators during ingress and egress, especially at peak flow times. In order to achieve this, the following need to be considered;


a.       Ingress and egress routes should be as direct as possible

b.       Routes to spectator facilities should not cross general circulation routes

c.        Allowance for potential queues from concessions or restroom should not impede general circulation routes. (The number of restrooms and catering outlets needs to carefully considered to avoid congestion at these facilities, see section 5 spectator facilities).

d.       Positioning of Television screens should be such that they do not encourage groups gathering in main circulation routes.


3.4.2. Size of Concourses


The width and spatial arrangement of facilities on the concourse will largely determine the size of the concourse. It should take into account entry and exit width requirements and queuing for facilities. The choice in positing of facilities will greatly affect the final concourse size.


At early stages in the design it may be useful to use certain ratios to size the concourse; however the eventual area will more likely be governed by the width requirements already mentioned. As a general rule the following areas per person should be used;


a.       General Admission – 4ft²/person

b.       Premium - 5ft²/person


3.4.3. Concourse Design - General


The following design considerations should be taken when designing concourses;


a.       Signage should be positioned so that it is visible at peak usage and places in both lateral and transverse directions in order that it can be seen from any point of approach.

b.       Lighting levels needs to be sufficient for orientation, natural light is preferable.

c.        Floor finishes to be non slip

d.       Courses should have a very low fire load

e.        Concourses should take into accountant at an early stage positioning of trash receptacles etc. so that they do not block circulation routes.



3.5.         Stairs, Ramps, Elevators and Escalators


3.5.1.         Stair design should comply with local code requirements. In general stadia stairs should comply with the following;


a.       Stairway width should be uniform

b.       All goings and risers on each stair should be uniform

c.        Open risers should not be used

d.       Tapered treads should not be used

e.        Nosings should be clearly marked

f.        Stair treads should be non slip, be of durable construction and have adequate drainage where appropriate

g.        Adequate illumination should be provided, natural light is preferable.

h.       Channels should be separated to prevent overspill from one to another.



3.5.2.         Ramp design should comply with local code requirements. In general stadia ramps should comply with the following;


a.       Maximum gradients should not exceed 1 in12

b.       Gradients should be constant and not broken by steps

c.        Ramp surfaces should be non slip.

d.       Handrails should be provided to the same criteria as stairs.


3.5.3. Elevators should comply with local code requirements. Generally they cannot be counted upon to move large amounts of people, they are suitable for certain users, these include;


a.       Premium Spectators, especially suite users.

b.       Media, these are often shared with premium facilities.

c.        Staff and service operations.

d.       Disabled and wheelchair users (see section 6 accessibility).


3.5.4. Escalators should comply with local code requirements. They should not be used to calculate emergency evacuation capacity. Escalators should also discharge into a sufficiently large space in order that in the event of congestion people can step off. Consequences of breakdown should also be considered when designing circulation routes.


3.6. Normal mode

3.7.Emergency mode




 Reserved Seating




Gender Ratios


The gender ratio when calculating restroom facilities is Male – 60% and Female – 40%.


 Appliance Ratios

The minimum ratios for appliances are as follows: Male Restroom- Bathrooms 1:600;Urinals 1:70 and Hand Wash Basins 1:300. Female Restroom- Bathrooms 1:35 and  Hand Wash Basins 1:70.


Restroom should also include mirrors and sufficient soap dispensers and hand dryers, normally at a rate of 1 per 2 hand wash basins.




To ensure free flow of spectator’s restrooms should be designed to have a one way access system (entry and exit) or a wide enough single entry to allow people to pass comfortably. See diagram 5a for suggested layouts.


Male and Female restrooms should be distributed evenly around the stadium to minimize travel distances. (See Diagram 5b for suggested distribution). Cleaners closets should be included to serve each pair of toilets.


Family Restrooms


Family Restrooms should be distributed evenly around each concourse at a ratio of approximately 1:5000 spectators. They should include;


a.       Hand wash basin

b.       W.C

c.        Baby change facilities




Robust finishes that are easily cleaned will be required in all restrooms. Appliances also need to be robust and should be wall hung to allow for ease of cleaning. Well maintained facilities are less likely to attract vandalism.





Allowance has to be made for queuing in front of a POS , to avoid further congestion a channel should also be allowed for people to leave once they have collected their food/beverages. (see diagram 5c)


Ticketing/Box Office


Ticketing controls entry into the stadia. Not only is it a source of driving revenue but it also ensures spectator safety and security.



Types of Offer


Several types of ticket offer are available and some of the ticket windows will have to be able to operate to meet these needs. The number and type will depend on the final ticket management plan but typically can include


a.       Advance ticket sales; the opportunity to buy advance tickets for future events should be offered before, during and after an event and positioned to attract sales accordingly.

b.       Will-Call Tickets; internet/telephone advance sale pick up.

c.        Cash/Credit Card Ticket sales – can be combined with advance ticket sales.

d.       Return Ticket/Help Counter




Distribution and location of ticketing windows depends on the configuration of the stadium. They can be part of the concourse or located externally. The aim is to position these facilities so that they serve the all ticketing needs for the event.


Ticketing/Box Office Support Spaces


Typical Support spaces for ticketing need to be provided these include;


a.       Ticket Managers Office

b.       Ticket Vault

c.        Ticket Storage

d.       Staff Restroom

e.        Workstations

f.        Meeting Room


There spaces should be secure and have controlled entry.


First Aid


Rooms need to be provided for the provision of First Aid to spectators. They should be accessible from all parts of spectator concourses, satellite First Aid rooms should be added if required.


They should;

a.       Be easily accessible to both spectators and emergency vehicles

b.       Clearly Signposted and identified

c.        Allow wheelchair and stretcher access

d.       Include a waiting area for friends/relatives.

e.        Be designed so they can be cleaned easily and kept hygienic


The facilities within should be agreed with local officials and stadium management however they typically include:

a.       Couch(es)

b.       Worktop

c.        Restroom facilities

d.       Sink with supply of potable, hot and cold water.

e.        Telephone

f.        Heating/Lighting

g.        Medical Supplies Storage



Lost and Found


A Counter should be available for spectators to go to recover/hand in lost items. Its location should be clearly identified. This can be combined with customer service facilities.


Customer Service


Customer service stations should be provided to provide spectator assistance during an event. They should be accessible from all concourses.


Public Telephones


Public telephones should be provided at convenient points along the concourses for spectator use.

Premium Seating


Premium seating areas will require better service and a higher grade of finish than those of General Admission areas.



Club and Suite Lounge areas should provide an even distribution of restroom facilities.

Gender Ratio


The gender ratio when calculating premium restroom facilities is Male – 50% and Female – 50%.

Appliance Ratio


The appliance ratios for premium facilities should be slightly higher than that of the provision in GA areas. This is largely determined by the level of service that the stadium wishes to provide and there are no fixed rules. A suggested set of ratio is;


Male Restroom


W.C’s                                     1:tbc

Urinals                                   1:tbc

Hand Wash Basins             1:tbc


Female Restroom


W.C’s                                     1:tbc

Hand Wash Basins             1:tbc

Club/Suite Lounge


Premium Lounges should be located so they can be conveniently accessed by all premium spectators. Club and Suite Lounges can either be combined or separate depending on the level of exclusivity. The facilities required in these areas depend on the level of service. As a minimum there is a bar and some sort of food offer (unless private restaurants are also utilized).



Suites facilities should include;


a.       External Seating 9-18 people

b.       Lounge Area

c.        Unisex Restroom

d.       Bar/counter/kitchenette

e.        Servery

f.        Closet


A Typical Suite Layout is in shown in diagram 5d, the final layout depends on the service required. It is possible for suites to share some facilities.



Team Retail should be available for selling merchandise to spectators. The store must be able to be accessed on event and non event days. Portable vendors may also be used on event days. Storage must be included for all these areas.

  Private/Public Restaurants


Private restaurants may be included in premium club/suite lounge areas.


3.6.            ATM


If provided ATM’s should be located near retail facilities.




All stadia should provide proper access to spectators with disability in safety and comfort. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and all the local code must be complied with in the design of the stadia.


4.1.            Sightlines


To ensure that wheelchair users are not unsighted by spectators standing in front of them super-risers are employed. There are 3 basic conditions for wheelchair positions on a tier; their use is mainly dictated by the method of access.


4.2.             Companion seating (ADA issue)


Seating is provided for Disabled Spectators and their companions


Seating Numbers


Wheelchair spaces are provided at 1% of the total capacity





Companion Seating is provided at 1% of the total capacity.


4.3. Ratio, Distribution and Design


The size of concessions is partly governed by the numbers of Points of Sale (P.O.S.). It is important that the ratio of POS to spectator is right for the facility to avoid overcrowding around these areas.


As a general rule a ratio of 1:150 is acceptable.


4.3.1. P.O.S. Ratio


Ticket windows should be provided at a ratio of at least 1:2000 spectators.


4.3.2. Distribution


As with Restroom the Concessions should be distributed evenly around the concourse to minimize the distance spectators have to travel to reach a concession stand. (see diagram 5b)


The position and quality of disabled spectators should be varied and allow the same choice as non-disabled spectators. Essentially there should be some provision in all areas.



4.3.3. P.O.S. Design


The exact size of these will vary with the food offer but an allowance of 4 linear ft per POS is considered an acceptable initial estimate. An example layout of a POS position is shown in diagram 5c.


Front of Tier


See diagram 6a


Mid Tier


See diagram 6b


Rear of Tier


See diagram 6c




Care needs to be taken to allow enough circulation when designing wheelchair positions

Diagram 6d describes the space required for a disabled wheel chair position and access to it.





All restrooms should contain one cubicle designed for wheelchair users. Sinks and dispensers must be provided at the correct height. See diagram 6e for dimensions.


4.4. Visual/Hearing Impaired


? induction loops



4.5.  Concessions


Provision at concessions and ticket windows should be made for wheelchair access.

When designing concessions there are two main design considerations that need to be considered;


a.    The food and beverages offered

b.    The number of concessionaires


It is highly recommended that a food consultant be appointed at an early stage so that these issues can be addressed and the right allowance made early on in the design.


n general the following guidelines can be used as a rough guide.




4.6. Parking


Disabled Parking will be provided at a rate of …


It is highly recommended that a food consultant be appointed at an early stage so that these issues can be addressed and the right allowance made early on in the design.


In general the following guidelines can be used as a rough guide.




5. Team Areas


Team facilities areas should be designed so that players, staff and officials can carry out all their required functions in safety and comfort. They should be inaccessible to spectators and the media. Team facilities are best located at the main stand centrally at the halfway line with level access to the pitch. Player facilities should include home, visiting and 2 auxiliary team facilities as a minimum in order that a double header tournament can be played. Other areas required are areas for officials, medical and team staff. Diagram 7a illustrates a typical arrangement of these facilities.




Team facilities should have a private entrance where teams and players staff can enter and leave in a secure environment removed from all spectators and media. It should be accessible by cars, coaches and ambulance. Stretcher access should also be considered in the internal arrangement of the Player facilities.


Team Facilities General


5.1. Home Team Facilities should include the following as a minimum (see diagram 7b for typical arrangement);


Lockers Area


a.       Bench seating for at least 25 people

b.       Clothes hanging/lockers for at least 25 people

c.        Refrigerator

d.       Tactical demonstration board


Locker areas should be arranged so that the manager can address the team, typically in a ‘u’ shape.


Treatment/Massage Area


a.       Desk

b.       3 Massage Tables

c.        5 chairs


The treatment/massage area should be separate from but adjacent to the locker area.




The facilities provided as a minimum:

a.       10 showers

b.       5 hand wash basins and mirrors

c.        1 foot basin

d.       1 sink for cleaning boots

e.        3 Urinals

f.        3 W.C’s

g.        2 electric shave points

h.       2 hair dryers

This area should be privately accessible from the locker area.


Warm Up Area


To be adjacent to the Team locker facilities.


Team Staff


Staff areas should include;


a.       Head Coaches office/changing room. To include;

-          Shower

-          WC

-          Hand Wash Basin

-          Locker

-          Desk


b.       Assistant Coaches Changing. To include;

-          6 lockers

-          3 Showers

-          2 W.C’s

-          2 Hand Wash Basins


c.        Equipment Manager and Assistants

-          5 lockers

-          Trunk Storage Space


d.       Locker Room Assistants Office


These areas should be directly accessible to the team facilities.


 Additional Home Team Facilities


Some additional areas for the home team may be considered. Much of these areas are dependent on whether the home team will train at the stadium facility or remotely. These areas include


-          Family Room

A waiting lounge area for players family and invited guests. Facilities can include kitchenette, television, lounge seating.

-          Team Meeting Room

This is a team area seating 25 people for tactical meetings. It should have video capability

-          Training Room

-          Weight Training Room

-          Sauna/Steam Room

-          Doctors Office


 Officials/Match Delegates





5.2. Male Referees Changing


Changing area for 4 people to include (see diagram 7c for typical arrangement);


-          Clothes hanging or locker facilities for 4 people

-          Bench or chairs for 4

-          Desk

-          Massage table

-          2 Showers

-          W.C.

-          Urinal

-          Hand wash basin

-          Hand dryer

-          Shaving point

-          1 sink for cleaning boots


Female Referees Changing


Changing area for 4 people to include (see diagram 7c for typical arrangement);


-          Clothes hanging or locker facilities for 4 people

-          Bench or chairs for 4

-          Desk

-          Massage table

-          2 showers

-          2 W.C’s

-          Hand wash basin

-          Hand dryer

-          Shaving point

-          1 sink for cleaning boots


Match Delegates Room


To include;

-          Desk

-          3 chairs

-          Locker

-          Telephone

-          Fax

-          Photocopier

-          TV

-          W.C.

-          Hand wash basin and mirror


Additional Staff


Ballboy/Ballgirl Dressing

2 rooms (one for each sex) should be provided for changing, to include;

-          Lockers

-          2 W.C’s

-          2 Hand Wash Basins

-          2 Showers


First Aid/Doping Control


First Aid Treatment Room


The First Aid room should be located as close to the team facilities and the playing field as possible. It must also have stretcher access directly to emergency vehicles. It should include the following equipment (see diagram 7d for typical arrangement);


-          2 portable stretchers

-          Hand wash basin

-          Low foot wash basin

-          Glass basin

-          2 Treatment Tables

-          Telephone

-          Partitions

-          W.C.

-          Shower


Doping Control


The Doping control room must be located near to the Team facilities and Referees facilities. It should include (see diagram 7e for typical arrangement);


-          Waiting area for 8 people including furniture

-          Work room, to include a 2desks each with for chairs. 

-          Toilet area, to include W.C., Hand Wash Basin, Shower


Field Toilet


2         Field Toilets should be provided close to access to the field of play.





General Press Facilities

Media centre





Mixed Zone

Conference Room

6.1. Written Press Area

6.2. Radio Broadcast Area

6.3. Broadcast Area

6.4. TV Truck/Satellite Area

6.5. TV Broadcast Announce Positions

6.6. Photographers Area





Pitch Lighting



Stadium Operations


Catering Support







8.1.                     Power

8.2.                     Emergency Power System

8.3.                     Event Lighting

8.3.1. Mounting Heights and Locations

8.3.2. Player View Angles

8.3.3. Shadown Control Design

8.3.4. Specifications

8.3.5. Environmental Requirements

8.3.6. Sustainable Design Requirements

8.3.7. Sports Lighting Commissioning

8.3.8. Glossary of Terms

     8.4.          Technology

         8.4.1. Telephone/Communications

           8.4.2. Security

      8.5.           Sound

     8.6.           Scoreboard

     8.7.           Video Board

     8.8.           Signage

           8.8.1. Sponsor Signage

           8.8.2. Way-Finding Signage

     8.9.           Service Yard



8.            CONCERTS

8.4.      Stage Position

8.5.      Field Seating Area Person

8.6.      Field Standing

8.7.      Gender Ratios

8.8.      Restrooms

8.9.      Concessions

8.10.  Dressing Rooms

8.11.  Green Room

8.12.  Stage Rigging

8.13.  Loading and Unloading

8.14.  Protection of Playing Surface

8.15.  Dressing room

8.16.  Green Rooms

8.17.  Stage Rigging

8.18.  Loading/Unloading

8.19.  Protection of Grass