BDC Network: Mid-Size, Multi-Use Arenas Setting a Trend for the Future
From BDC Network, “While large 20,000-seat sports venues aren’t going away, mid-size venues provide advantages the big arenas do not in a time of budget constraints and the need for flexibility.
The 3,800-seat Covelli Multi-Sport Arena at The Ohio State University will not take the place of the Schottenstein Center, where 19,500 can watch a basketball game. What it will do is provide a home for wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics, while also allowing for lectures, concerts, banquets, academic college’s graduation, and similar campus events.
This project is indicative of a trend among colleges and universities toward mid-size, multi-use arenas that can serve the student body and surrounding community. While large 20,000-seat sports venues aren’t going away, mid-size venues provide advantages the big arenas do not in a time of budget constraints and the need for flexibility.
Operating costs are another attractive feature of mid-size arenas. They often require a leaner staff, a smaller budget to build and operate, and are much more energy efficient than larger arenas. Because these buildings can be used continuously, a college or university can operate them much more efficiently.
Often, the sheer scale of mid-size arenas fits better into many campus environments. The challenges of integrating a smaller venue with other campus buildings is much less of a problem than for larger facilities, and the costs of the exterior finish enclosure is more consistent with surrounding buildings is more achievable due the smaller scale.
Finally, mid-size arenas can be more “donor-friendly.” Large venues typically require a big name and a big donor. In contrast, multiple smaller scale donors can fund a significant portion of the cost of a mid-size arena.
Making a mid-size venue seem larger is a design challenge and requires experience and creativity…”