Oval, open-air, a dome? Choices are many in stadium design

Whether Colorado State University moves forward with a new stadium remains up in the air, but there are a number of new college stadiums across the country that provide some idea of what CSU might build.

Here’s a quick look at what other universities with stadium ambitions are planning or have done.

The Green Wave of Tulane has played in the Superdome in New Orleans since 1975 and is now planning for an on-campus stadium, to be ready for the 2014 season.

The stadium is expected to cost $60 million – substantially less than the potential cost of an on-campus CSU stadium, which could range anywhere from $100 million to $200 million – and will seat 30,000.

Tulane will build an oval, open-air stadium, designed by architecture firm Gould-Evans Associates. Robert Riccardi of Gould-Evans designed the structure after being commissioned by Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson.

The Green Wave’s new home will include a plate-glass press box and two patio areas, as well as a game-day pavilion in front of the stadium. Artificial field turf will carpet the playing surface.

It will be located directly in the middle of what Tulane officials call the university’s “athletic footprint,” a cluster of sports-related buildings on-campus.

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the proposed $250 million stadium for the Baylor University Bears, located in Waco.

This stadium is also in the planning phase, which means many details have not yet been hammered out, but Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous, formerly HOK Sport, the country’s largest stadium designer, is on the case.

The 90-acre site on the bank of the Brazos River will provide a scenic setting for the Bears to hit the gridiron, cheered on by some 15,000 current students and thousands more alumni.

Five stadium builders are working on plans for the Baylor stadium, and expect to have them complete in January 2013, with the stadium ready for play in the fall of 2014.

No firm in Waco is large enough to build a stadium, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald, but local companies are likely to be used as subcontractors.

The favorite for general contractor?

Tulsa, Okla.-based Manhattan Construction, with a resume that includes Cowboy Stadium, the world’s largest domed stadium with a $1.4 billion price tag, as well as the Pepsi Center in Denver, home to our very own Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.

Of course, the City of Waco has to approve any and all plans for the stadium.

Although many of the details have yet to be decided, site plans call for a pedestrian bridge across the Brazos River, connecting campus and the stadium.

The University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, affectionately called “The Gopher Hole,” opened in 2009, three years after breaking ground in September 2006.

The stadium can seat 50,805 Gopher fans and has the capability to expand to an 80,000-seat facility.

The total price clocked in at $288.5 million, after $39.8 million was added to the cost in 2007 to incorporate environmentally friendly elements.

Like the Tulane stadium, TCF Bank Stadium was designed by Populous, who recommended that the stadium be constructed in a “horseshoe” style to support future expansion. The open end of the horseshoe provides those in the stadium with a view of campus as well as downtown Minneapolis.

The design includes a blend of brick, stone and glass that replicated the look and feel of the University of Minnesota campus, and focuses on fan comfort with 19-inch seats and 33 inches between rows.

The bowl of the stadium is referred to as “single rake,” without the multiple decks and overhangs typically seen in professional stadiums. The façade on the exterior of the stadium resembles Memorial Stadium, where the Gophers played prior to the opening of TCF Bank Stadium.