Playing It Safe: Protecting Fans Around the World

Whether it’s from seismic activity, excessive winds, or even large motion caused by spectator movements, stadiums around the world depend on Taylor Devices to keep fans safe.       (Header Image: chargers.com)

When it comes to defining what culture is and what it is made up of, there is no denying that sports have a major influence. People around the world love sports for so many reasons. Some people are born into a fandom that has been passed down from generation to generation. Some love a true underdog story, as the unlikely opponent comes out on top to upset the favorite. Others are simply looking for a distraction from their every-day life to watch the greatest entertainers of our time. Whatever the reason, there is one thing that all sports fans can agree upon; sports provide a sense of camaraderie and community that can bring just about anyone together. The effect is amplified to an even greater degree when fans come together to watch their favorite team play in their home stadium.

Unfortunately, like many things this year, the sports world has been turned upside-down because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has stretched across every part of the world. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed until next year, many professional leagues have delayed starts and shortened seasons, and many college sports are in jeopardy of being canceled this year.

Despite all of this, sports have slowly begun to start back up again. Major League Baseball has started playing their season again and the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association playoffs are in full swing. However, there is one major caveat; no fans allowed. While it is good to see sports on television again, it is clear that having fans in the stadium has a major impact on the energy of the game. Whether it’s the constant murmur during a baseball game on a summer afternoon, or the united roar of the crowd after a game-winning buzzer-beater during a basketball game, a stadium full of fans makes sports better.

Although we cannot see our favorite teams right now, this is only temporary and there will come a time when we will be able to go watch our teams once again, and it will make sporting events that much better. Until then, when we can all cheer on together, let's take a look at some stadiums around the world that depend on Taylor Dampers, Lock-Up Devices and TMDs to provide safety for spectators. In most cases, the devices are used in stadiums to protect against seismic and wind loads, but they can also be used to reduce undesirable vibrations caused by cheering fans.

 

T-Mobile ParkT-Mobile Park - Seattle, WA

Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Sport: MLB – Seattle Mariners
Capacity: 47,929
Number of Dampers: 44
Installed: 1998

T-Mobile Park, formally known as Safeco Field, is located in Seattle, Washington, and opened in 1999. Due to the frequent precipitation in Seattle, the stadium offers a retractable roof that acts more as an umbrella, rather than a complete climate-controlled enclosure. Taylor Dampers are used on the moveable roof to dissipate earthquake energy, as well as Taylor Buffers used at the end stops to absorb energy from impact due to wind, kinetic energy, and motor drive. The dampers provided enough reduction in the lateral loads such that $5 million was saved on the cost of the steel for the runway used for the roof.

 

 

Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park - Houston, TX

Location: Houston, TX, USA
Sport: MLB – Houston Astros
Capacity: 41,168
Number of Dampers: 16
Installed: 1999

Minute Maid Park, formally known as The Ballpark at Union Station and Enron Field, is located in downtown Houston, Texas, and opened in 2000. Although the city sits about 40 miles inland, it can still experience hurricanes and tropical storms with significant wind speeds. The stadium utilizes Taylor Dampers to mitigate wind loads on the roof structure. In 2017, a majority of the city of Houston suffered damaged from Hurricane Harvey. While the stadium had some flooding in the service levels, the rest of the stadium experienced no other damage after the storm cleared.

 

 

 

Gillette StadiumGillette Stadium - Foxborough, MA

Location: Foxborough, MA, USA
Sport: NFL – New England Patriots
           MLS – New England Revolution
Capacity: 65,878
Number of Dampers: 18
Installed: 2002

Gillette Stadium is located just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and opened in 2002. Although the region is not known as a seismic hotspot, earthquakes can happen in the area, and it was decided to design with Taylor Dampers across expansion joints to control motion caused by seismic events.

 

 

Bills Stadium

Bills Stadium - Buffalo, NY

Location: Orchard Park, NY, USA
Sport: NFL – Buffalo Bills
Capacity: 71,600
Number of Dampers: 12
Installed: 1993

Bills Stadium, formally known as Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, and New Era Field, is located just outside of Buffalo, New York, and opened in 1973. Because of the stadium’s location, strong winds that come off of Lake Erie can cause significant shaking to light poles. Taylor Dampers were installed to connect light poles to the stadium parapet wall to eliminate base plate anchor bolt fatigue.

 

 

 

 

 

BC PlaceBC Place - Vancouver, BC

Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Sport: CFL – BC Lions
           MLS – Vancouver Whitecaps
Capacity: 54,500
Number of Dampers: 96
Installed: 2011

Gillette Stadium is located just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and opened in 2002. Although the region is not known as a seismic hotspot, earthquakes can happen in the area, and it was decided to design with Taylor Dampers across expansion joints to control motion caused by seismic events.

 

 

SoFi Stadium

SoFi Stadium - Los Angeles, CA

Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Sport: NFL – Los Angeles Rams
           NFL – Los Angeles Chargers
Capacity: 70,240
Number of Dampers: 32
Installed: 2017

SoFi Stadium is a stadium and entertainment complex located in Los Angeles, California, and set to open in 2020. This is one of the newest and by far the most expensive stadium in the National Football League. The stadium sits near the Newport-Inglewood fault, so it was important to design a stadium that can handle significant seismic loads. The stadium uses Taylor Lock-Up Devices along with a base isolation system to protect from earthquake vibrations.

(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

 

 

Peace and Friendship Stadium
Peace & Friendship Stadium - Athens, Greece

Location: Athens, Greece
Sport: Basketball – Olympiacos B.C.
           Volleyball – 2004 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 11,640
Number of Dampers: 128
Installed: 2003

Peace and Friendship Stadium is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Piraeus, just outside Athens, Greece, and opened in 1985. The stadium is primarily used by the EuroLeague basketball team Olympiacos, but was also used for indoor volleyball during the 2004 Olympic Games. Prior to the Olympics, renovations and upgrades were made to the roof of the isolated saddle-shaped stadium. Taylor Dampers were used to dissipate energy during an earthquake.

 

 

Soldier Field

Soldier Field - Chicago, IL

Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Sport: NFL – Chicago Bears
           MLS – Chicago Fire FC
Seating Capacity: 61,500
Number of Dampers: 42
Installed: 2003

Soldier Field is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois, and opened in 1924, making it the oldest stadium in the National Football League. Besides the NFL’s Chicago Bears, the stadium is also home to the Major League Soccer Chicago Fire FC. In 2003, the stadium went under major renovations to repair the crumbling infrastructure and add more seating. The new seating bowl used Taylor Dampers in a tuned mass damper system to reduce motion caused by spectator movements.

 

 

 

Tianhe StadiumTianhe Stadium - China

Location: Guangzhou, China
Sport: CSL (Chinese Football) - Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao     Football Club
Capacity: 60,000
Number of Dampers: 12
Installed: 2006

Tianhe Stadium is located in Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China and opened in 1987. It is primarily used for football (American soccer), but can also be used for many Olympic sports and even hosted the 2010 Asian Games. The stadium uses Taylor Dampers as substructure framing to provide seismic energy dissipation.

 

 

Meydan Racecourse

Meydan Racecourse - Dubai

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Sport: Horseracing
Capacity: 60,000
Number of Dampers: 108
Installed: 2009

Meydan Racecourse is located in Meydan City, Dubai, and opened in 2010. Along with the racecourse, the site also houses a five-star hotel, golf course, and has become a business and conference center. The new stadium uses 36 tuned mass dampers, along with the assistance of Taylor Dampers, to reduce wind vibrations in large cantilevered roof truss sections.

 

 

 

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