Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Soldier Field: The Spaceship has Landed

So this past Sunday we were lucky enough to get some tickets to watch the Bears mop up on the pitiful Jacksonville Jaguars. As most Chicagoans know, a December home game experience at Soldier field can be summed up in one word...Freezing. That was the case this past Sunday as the wind chill read -1 throughout the day.

As I froze, one of the many things that caught my attention was the design of Soldier Field. The most recent renovation has been met with a wide range of reviews. The New York Times called it one of the best new buildings of 2003, while one Chicago Tribune architecture critic dubbed it the "eyesore on the Lake Shore."

Personally, I think it has an interesting exterior design. Yes it looks like a spaceship landed on the old Soldier Field, but in my opinion it's an interesting example of modern progressive architecture blending with a historic venue. Regardless of your views on the exterior, the interior is a great place to watch an event. The stadium seating is very steep and as a result there aren't many bad seats. Another interesting thing about the stadium is that the entire east side has an enclosed, indoor concourse (which is unusual for football stadiums as far as I'm aware). As it stands now, Soldier Field is the smallest stadium in the NFL in terms of seating capacity (61,500).

For those of you who are unaware of the remodeling here are two images. The first is the old stadium prior to the space ship renovation (from the south side):

The next picture is after the renovation:

The funny thing about the stadium is that since 1984 it was on the list of National Register of Historic Places, but after the renovation this designation was revoked (in 2003).

I still like the place!

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