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11 March, 2020

THE BEST STADIUMS IN THE WORLD HAVE IN MIND THE STANDS FOR ITS VIEWERS

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In regard to its dimension, the Camp Nou is one of the best stadiums to watch football. That’s what the Fenwick Iribarren architecture firm has considered. This firm[1] with many projects related to the world of sports, has determined that FC Barcelona’s stadium gets a score of 393 out of 500, which puts it close to the Allianz Arena, one of the most modern venues in the world. Its exemplary construction exceeds its great rival in Spain, the Santiago Bernabéu, and its visibility is only affected by the distance in the third bleacher, north and south, to the pitch. Too far away to appreciate with great detail, what’s happening on the pitch.

 

But what is really interesting of this study is the projection it has for the professionals and aspiring professionals in the world of sports facilities management, because it analyzes the C-Value, which is fundamental when assessing a stadium’s quality and evaluating its refurbishment or construction. UEFA defines it as the variable that determines the quality of a spectator’s vision line or view regarding what they have in front. There is also a detailed formula for its calculation.

 

C = ((D(N+R) / D+T )) – R

 

C = C-Value

D= horizontal distance from the eye to the vanishing point (usually the sideline or the goal line)

R = vertical height from the eye to the vanishing point

N = height of each line of seats

T = depth of the line of seats

 

In football, the most usual value resulting from this calculation is 120 mm, being able to go down to 90. These measurements are enough for the head of the spectator in front not to block the vision. Although there are extreme cases, like the horse races in Ascot, where it goes up to 200. The reason, hardly technical, resides in the ladies’ extravagant pamela hats and the men’s top hats. For a professional competition sport in which a ball is involved, being able to view it is crucial, so the C-Value, as well as the diameter of the ball, are important.

 

The reason is that there is a distance from which the human eye is unable to distinguish the ball. For tennis, where the diameter of the ball is only 6.8 cm, the maximum distance between a spectator and the end of the court will be 30 meters. In the case of American football and rugby, the melon-shaped ball which is 28 cm long and has a 60 cm diameter, the stadium goers can be at a maximum distance of 150 meters. The 70 cm circumference of a football allows more distance, 190 meters. This would be the stand where we could place the last viewer, knowing that the optimal distance is among the first rows, 90 meters away from the action.

 

Sports specialist must also have in mind that the outer part of a stadium is rounded. The reason is also related to the visibility for the spectators.

Although the pitch is always rectangular, rounding the bleachers at the end not only allows to fit more spectators, but the combination between distance and C-Value is optimal for them to see everything perfectly.

 

In the past sports, entities attempted to fill in stadiums with the highest number of spectators, even at the expense of leaving them standing. Once TV broadcasting, paid platforms and alternative experiences such as augmented reality have made the match experience very comfortable to watch from the sofa at home. Now a new competition takes place, one of bringing fans again to experience the live event at the stadium. Precisely for this reason, C-Value has gained extraordinary importance, like the dimensions of the bleachers and the comfort of the seats. Today the UEFA demands the back of the seat to have a minimum of 30 cm from the base, so that the backrests comfortably, and the material used should be made out of an ergonomic and flexible plastic. In addition to these regulations, many clubs take care more and more that the spectator can place their drink, and their telephone or tablet, comfortably beside them.

 

Experts forecast that soon the seats and the stands will start to look more like those found in the press room. Perfectly connected for the fan to broadcast through their social networks their live experience. All this will be possible with the emerging 5G technology, which modern stadiums are installing.

 

And if you aspire to be one of these professionals that will define the future, hurry up and register for the Sports Facilities Management Certificate.

 

 

Martín Sacristán

 

[1] Mentioned in a previous article which relates to the creation of the first detachable football stadium

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