Sacramento Republic FC is continuing the design of its new downtown facility, and is doing so with the fans in mind.
Last year, Sacramento Republic FC took the step of opening up a fan feedback process for the conceptual design phase. The soccer-specific venue (shown above) would open in downtown Sacramento if the team secures a move to the MLS as an expansion club, something that seems increasingly likely.
Fan feedback has been received for nearly the past year, and some suggestions are influencing portions of the stadium design. More from Comstock’s Magazine:
Additionally, members of the Tower Bridge Battalion — the independent fan club of the Republic — were tapped for their ideas, including on a pre-game walk from a yet-to-be-disclosed downtown venue. Bjork notes that devoted soccer fans have often been to many stadiums, and some have traveled the globe to see the sport they love. This can make them more informed, equipped and eager to see the things they enjoy the most implemented locally. In many cases, those polled and surveyed were passionate and insistent. “They want an intimidation factor, plain and simple,” says [team VP of marketing and communications Erika] Bjork, adding, “Having natural grass was also very important.”
The intimidation factor will largely be generated by the design of the stadium: a fully-enclosed structure to capture and keep the noise generated by fans, as opposed to literally letting it escape into thin air, as is the case in many large outdoor venues in California. “The design will direct the chanting and cheering straight onto the pitch,” Bjork says. “This is clearly what the people want.”
Across the spectrum of major sports, teams do not commonly seek fan feedback to this extent when building new facilities. However, there have been similar examples in the MLS of late. The D.C. United and Populous sought input from season ticket holders and sponsors last year, when the planned stadium in Buzzard Point was in an earlier design phase.
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