Stadiums and arenas are of the biggest projects that a city can make. While there can be many reasons why a city would decide to approve the construction and many times primarily fund new stadiums, one reason is an attempt to spark economic development. While most people believe that the economic development of cities is only the goals and responsibilities of economists and politicians. However, urban planners also play an important role. When planning a stadium, there are many factors that are necessary for planners. One important factor that goes into stadium planning is zoning. Without proper zoning, it is impossible for a stadium to be built in a city. The location decision always incorporates zoning, and if the desired location is not properly zoned for a stadium or arena, then the zoning ordinances and ultimately the master plan must be adjusted. Another important factor that planners must account for is the city’s transportation network. It is known that stadium activity causes a large increase in traffic congestion. To try and limit the amount of traffic caused by the large influx of people into a city, often, an effective plan is to have a strong public transportation network. However, this is not a simple task to do. Many cities do not have intricate public transportation systems and it is often quite complicated to adjust it. Another thing to consider is the phenomenon and culture that is tailgating. Since the tailgating culture is so prominent in the United States, many people do not want to utilize public transportation even if it is an efficient method to get to a stadium. These are all important issues that planners need to consider.
With regards to economic development, a current trend in stadium planning is to not only plan and design the stadium, but also to design the surrounding area in order to revitalize the city and add to the experience and marketing of a sports franchise. I find this aspect very interesting, because it can have such an impactful effect on the surrounding community. It has the potential to affect fields such as businesses and housing costs. It can help to bring success to a community or it can have detrimental effects. Overall, when it comes to stadium planning, planners have an important role. However, in my opinion the most important decision that is made when planning a stadium or arena is the deal that is made with the city. The negotiations made between the teams and the city can essentially make or break a successful stadium. In the past, there have been successful and unsuccessful stadiums and I believe that it is mainly determined by the deal that was made between the two parties.