People want to be as close as they can possibly be to the field of play. "So we spend a huge amount of time when it comes to working on the geometry - what we call the cross-section - of the seating bowl to understand how we can get people as close as possible, with the best-possible sightlines." While Populous has already made its mark on Australian sport - they designed Melbourne's Etihad Stadium, Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium and ANZ Stadium in Sydney - their portfolio of smaller rectangular venues is more applicable to the future of the A-League. Taking that into account, Breslin points to MLS again and Sporting Kansas City's Children's Mercy Park plus Forsyth Barr Stadium in New Zealand as examples of very successful smaller stadia. Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, Mortgage broker Oak Laurel West End, 249 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101, 0430 129 662 USA Children's Mercy Park has a capacity of under 19,000 for MLS games, while Dunedin's Forsyth Barr can expand and contract from 20,000 to 30,000. "One thing we did do at Forsyth-Barr Stadium in Dunedin was we built the shell and the fixed roof based on it being for 30,000 seats but then on the two short ends we built a concrete pad there and the venue managers, they owned 10,000 temporary seats," Breslin explains. Mariners unveil stadium upgrade proposal "So we built 20,000 permanent seats and when they need to they can come in and install the temporary seats in those ends." While the prices for these venues might make your eyes water - the cheaper Forsyth Barr Stadium still cost over $170million - Populous attempts to reduce costs by keeping all administration areas, change rooms and corporate boxes in one stand. Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand "You're keeping all of your internal space - all of your air-conditioned and treated space, the space that you need lifts to get access to - you keep that all on one side," says Breslin. "Just concentrate all your facilities." COMMENT: New stadiums, cheaper tickets will improve A-League crowds But for those fans hoping for a silver bullet that will see more A-League clubs build their own stadiums, Breslin has some bad news. When asked why there aren't more new venues being commissioned and built, Breslin answers: "It's fairly straightforward. It comes down to the money - both the money to actually build it but then also the money to maintain these buildings as well." Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, USA Breslin adds that Populous are also focused on designing stadiums that can be used every day of the week as no-one is interested in 'white elephants' perched in outer suburbs. Populous spend a lot of time consulting with clients to ensure public transport access, while also working to incorporate local businesses and flexible areas so stadiums can host other events.
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