HOK’s John Rhodes Discusses Design of FC Barcelona’s New Palau Blaugrana Arena
HOK and TAC Arquitectes are designing a new 12,000-seat basketball arena for FC Barcelona. In an interview with Sports Business Daily, John Rhodes, a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, explained how the design features generate additional revenue opportunities for the club while creating an exceptional fan experience.
Rhodes on designing a facility for year-round use:
“We can reduce the concourses internally because we’ve got this overflow space externally. But also, we can pull some of the concessions out into that public realm. And they can work every day of the week. So you have these concessions which will be there on dark days as well as event days. That, of course, means that you can invest in the food and beverage, which means the food’s going to be better. It’s going to create more revenue, because these assets are being used more frequently. What we’re trying to create is an environment where we can really maximize the asset potential of the arena components.”
Rhodes on the atmosphere created by the asymmetrical bowl design:
“European basketball has a very different character to that of the NBA. It’s more akin to football, so how do we create a modern basketball arena or a handball arena for that? In some ways that evolved into the idea of the enlarged end, where we could increase the capacity of the arena but also could get this wonderful connection with the fans and create a wonderful home-end advantage. … The idea is that you create a home end. There’s lots of examples in football, like Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall, or the Kop at Liverpool, where there is this big wall of fans, where there is no opportunity for the energy to leak out.”