A Tribute To Pipe Dream NFL Stadium Designs

I have a confession to make. I love potential NFL stadium boondoggles. I know they offer virtually no good return on investment for anyone except for the owner of an NFL team. But I love it when teams push for new stadiums for one reason: COOL STADIUM DRAWINGS. Like the ones unveiled by stadium conglomerate AEG yesterday for an NFL stadium/convention hall in downtown Los Angeles. Have a look for yourself. AEG was even kind enough to commission three designs. And they all look crazy futurey!

I love stadium art like this. It’s always so delightfully unrealistic. The Minnesota Vikings have had art for their new stadium posted on their website for YEARS now, even though state residents are allergic to funding new digs for the team.

What are the odds that one of AEG’s stadium plans is built exactly as it was conceived by its architect? Ah, that would be zero percent. With the exception of Jerry Jones’ ridiculous new stadium for the Cowboys (a stadium that is a more a monument to excess than progress), these stadia usually have to go through a political process that leaves the end product either nonexistent or utterly uninspiring.

And that’s a shame, because looking at these designs always make me feel like I’m looking at an idyllic vision of the future that should be within reach but isn’t. The stadium will be made with 100% recycled sod! High-speed moving walkways will take you from your seat to any of the other 48 contiguous states within a matter of seconds! Short ribs tacos will be available to all! WORLD PEACE WILL BE DECLARED THE DAY WE BREAK GROUND ON THIS EDIFICE. Every time I see one of these stadium designs, I picture an architect hoping to one day turn a normal American city into the Western version of Dubai.

Artist’s renderings represent everything we want the world to be. Reality always ends up ruining it, but at the inception of the process, it’s always a blast to see. There’s something reassuring about that, until the stadium bill dies in the legislature and the team has to cut a side deal with an outgoing mayor to build a lousy version of the same stadium with an extra $300 million in cost overruns. But for now, the pictures are might pretty.

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