After 82 years in the historic Palmer Stadium, authorities of Palmer University commissioned a brand new venue for American football and other events. It was to respect the heritage of its legendary predecessor, but give it a modern appearance and infrastructure as well.
The concept by Rafael Vinoly Architects attempted to respect these wishes by enclosing the stadium in a horseshoe-shaped wall. Built with 3,500 concrete prefabs it’s the most distinctive element of the stadium. That outer structure mimics Palmer Stadium’s shape, but also comprises toilets, concession stands and other facilities, like the media and corporate boxes atop the main stand. A rock climbing wall was even created within the wall in 2008.
Despite the horseshoe shape, inside all the stands are rectangular: the lower tier is a continuous ring, while the upper has three separate sections on the west, north and east. The south side was left partly open, because there the main stadium interconnects with the secondary athletic stadium. This way track and field disciplines are still accommodated within the complex, but not at the main stadium, when good sightlines for football and soccer came first. New seats are as little as 5 meters away from the field, representing a very compact size.
Tenant: Princeton Tigers (NCAA)