Kingdome — Seattle, Washington — A $67-million concrete multipurpose stadium, the Kingdome’s seating was designed for football and opened with a soccer match on April 9, 1976.

Kingdome — Seattle, Washington — A $67-million concrete multipurpose stadium, the Kingdome’s seating was designed for football and opened with a soccer match on April 9, 1976.


Reinforced Concrete Thin Shell Sports Facilities

A few samples of sports domes before the Monolithic Method

Kingdome — Seattle, Washington

  • Architect: Naramore, Skilling and Praeger
  • Engineer: Jack Christiansen
  • Description: Football, soccer, baseball stadium
  • Diameter: 660’; Height: 250’
  • Capacity: 59,000 for baseball; 66,000 for football
  • Owner: King County, Washington
  • Cost: $67 Million * Opened: March 27, 1976
  • Demolished: March 26, 2000

A $67-million concrete multipurpose stadium, the Kingdome’s seating was designed for football and opened with a soccer match on April 9, 1976. The first baseball sellout in Kingdome history didn’t come until Opening Night 1990, in the team’s 14th season, and the team has drawn as many as 2 million fans only three times.

In Kingdome, four ceiling tiles fell a few hours before the gates were to open for a Mariners game in 1994. This forced the Mariners to play their final 15 games of the season, before a strike ended it, on the road. The repairs to the roof cost $70 million.

Kingdome hosted the All-Star Game in 1979. Gaylord Perry won the 300th game of his career there in 1982, and both Randy Johnson (1990) and Chris Bosio (1993) pitched no-hitters. Baseball history was made when Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. started a game together in the same outfield, marking the first time that a father and son had taken the field together as players.

Reference: www.ballparks.com

Yakima Valley SunDome — Yakima, Washington

  • Engineer: Jack Christiansen
  • Diameter: 270’; Height: 90’
  • Started: 1970s — Still in use today
  • Capacity: 5,602 for baseball; 6,698 for boxing; 3,831 to 7,926 for concerts; 4,850 for rodeo; 7,782 for wrestling; 5,686 for arena football

The facility is frequently rented for other events, such as conventions. It rents for $3,000 or 10% of the tickets, whichever is greater, per performance. Additionally the SunDome fits 300 10′×10′ exhibit booths and 4 concession stands.

University of Illinois Assembly Hall — Urbana, Illinois

  • Architect: Max Abramovitz
  • Engineer: Edward Cohen, CEO Amman & Whitney Consulting Engineers
  • Description: 400’-diameter, ribbed, reinforced, concrete dome
  • Capacity: 16,000 permanent seats
  • Completed: Summer 2000

The University of Illinois Assembly Hall literally comes alive after dark, with its great, white dome glowing in the night sky, the brightness within symbolic of the superstars who perform under its unique roof. From rock shows to Broadway to family shows to Fighting Illini basketball and much more, Assembly Hall has hosted the top names in show business as well as hosting numerous University and community events.

Performers and events hosted at Assembly Hall include The Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley, U2, Frank Sinatra, “Les Miserables,” Bob Hope, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Aerosmith, Reba McEntire, Tina Turner, “Cats,” Bill Cosby, University of Illinois Commencement, The Harlem Globetrotters, Bruce Springsteen, “Sesame Street Live!” and countless others.

Assembly Hall opened on March 2, 1963 and continues to attract attention for its design and construction. Four hundred feet across, at one time, it was one of only two edge supported domes in the world. The roof is supported by 614 miles of one-quarter inch steel wire wrapped at the base of the dome under intensive pressure.

The architect is Max Abramovitz, a distinguished University of Illinois alumnus. His firm also designed the United Nations Buildings, much of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Illinois’ own Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

In seating capacity, Assembly Hall ranks with the great arenas of major cities. It has nearly 16,000 permanent seats, but when portable chairs are placed on the floor for an in-the-round performance there is potential of up to 17,200, depending on the size of the stage. The largest Illinois arena outside of The United Center in Chicago, Assembly Hall continues to present the hottest and most exciting performers and events in the world!.

Reference:
http://www.uofiassemblyhall.com

Hershey Park Arena — Hershey, Pennsylvania

  • Architect/Engineer: Anton Tedesko
  • Owner: Hershey’s
  • Description: Reinforced concrete barrel vault. First thin-shell built in the United States.
  • Width: 232’; Length: 362’; Height: 100’
  • Capacity: 7228 permanent seats
  • Started: Early 1936
  • Completed: December 19, 1936

In 1996, Thomas C. Stephens, Director of Operations for the Arena was given some designs and plans for Monolithic Dome stadiums. Mr. Stephens was impressed and wrote this letter of recommendation, based on his experience with the oldest thin-shell, concrete stadium in the country:

“When Hersheypark Arena was constructed in 1936, it was considered to be one of the finest buildings of its time. Now, 60 years later, it has withstood the test of time. The Arena is an oval shaped, monolithic, reinforced concrete structure that will last into the future. Hersheypark Arena, with seating for 7,350 has been home to hockey since its construction. This unique structure has hosted many events over the years, with one outstanding feature – not a bad seat in the house.

“The idea of a Monolithic Dome ice facility has improved the design concept. Water penetration into our concrete and expansion joints is our biggest concern in building maintenance. Those problems do not exist with this design. Anyone looking to build an ice arena should be impressed with the design, energy conservation, safety, and the unique openness of these structures. Once constructed, you can count on having a great facility for many years to come.

Sincerely,
Thomas C. Stephens

Pallazzo Dello Sport (Great Sports Palace) — Rome, Italy

  • Engineer: Pier Luigi Nervi
  • Description: 330’ diameter, ribbed, reinforced concrete dome
  • Cost: 2 billion lire
  • Built: 1958 to 1960 for the 1960 Summer Olympic Games

Palazzo Dello Sport (Great Sports Palace) — Rome, Italy

  • Engineer: Pier Luigi Nervi
  • Diameter: 194’; Height: 69’
  • Capacity: 5,000
  • Cost: 265 Million Lire
  • Built: 1956 to 1957 for the 1960 Summer Olympic Games

Thompson Arena, Dartmouth College — Hanover, New Hampshire

  • Architect/Engineer: Pier Luigi Nervi
  • Description: 64’ tall, reinforced concrete, barrel vault
  • Capacity: 3,500 individually backed seats, 5 dressing rooms, 2 training rooms, sophisticated, suspended scoreboard
  • Cost: $4.4 Million
  • Construction: 1973-1976

Rupert C. Thompson Arena is one of the nation’s finest multi-sports facilities. Construction began in 1973, and the first hockey game was held in November, 1975, when Dartmouth and the United States Olympic team skated to a 3-3 tie.

Formal dedication of the $4.4 million showpiece was held the morning of Dartmouth’s Winter Carnival Game against Cornell in 1976, when the Big Green posted a dramatic 9-7 win. The largest crowd in Dartmouth hockey history was recorded January 12, 1980 when 5,017 spectators watched the Big Green defeat Yale 7-3.

The Arena’s construction involved 9,500 yards of precast and cast-in-place concrete, 600 tons of reinforced steel and buttresses that are unique design features.

The facility includes five spacious, carpeted, dressing rooms for varsity, sub-varsity and visiting teams, plus two complete training rooms, offices, the William Smoyer ’67 Lounge where the Friends of Dartmouth Hockey receptions are held, as well as storage and skate-sharpening areas.

Reference: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~mhockey/thompson.html

Leverone Field House, Dartmouth College — Hanover, New Hampshire

  • Architect/Engineer: Pier Luigi Nervi
  • Builder: Campbell and Aldrich
  • Description: 91,800’ square, reinforced concrete barrel vault
  • Features: indoor track; weight room; indoor practice area for football, lacrosse, soccer, golf, rugby
  • Completed: 1962-1963

Norfolk SCOPE Arena & Conference Hall — Norfolk, Virginia

  • Architect/Engineer: Pier Luigi Nervi
  • Diameter: 440’; Height: 110’
  • Capacity: 85,000 square feet. 12,600 seats for sport events; 13,800 capacity for conventions; 150-seat restaurant
  • Cost: $28.1 Million
  • Construction: 1970-1972

Opened in 1972, Norfolk Scope hosts a variety of events, including Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus, conventions, concerts and family shows. Scope is proud to be the home of the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL and the Norfolk Nighthawks Arena Football team. Scope consists of a flexible main arena, modular exhibit halls and meeting rooms that can accommodate both small and large groups for private meetings, exhibits or conventions.

Reference: http://www.norfolkcvb.com/meeting/scope.cfm

Waikiki Shell — Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Capacity: Seats 2,400 with lawn space for 6,000 more
  • Construction: 1952-1956

With world-famous Diamond Head for a backdrop and Waikiki Beach just across the street, the Waikiki Shell is a unique venue for outdoor concerts and other large gatherings. The Waikiki Shell is within walking distance of hotels, which makes it ideal for conventions, meetings and receptions.

The tropical climate of Hawaii makes the Waikiki Shell a perfect setting for a memorable afternoon lawn party or evening concert. Event planners should note that the Waikiki Shell has a newly renovated kitchen to service catered events. There are two loading docks, dressing rooms, a large stage, superb acoustics, professional lighting and sound equipment and electrical service for major television productions.

Reference: www.blaisdellcenter.com

Kresge Auditorium, MIT — Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Architect: Eero Saarinen
  • Description: Covered pavilion and school auditorium
  • Capacity: 3,943 seats
  • Construction: 1950-1955
  • Construction System: Geodesic dome, copper roof

The open-sided amphitheater was built in the 1940s as an orchestra shell on the shores of Green Lake. “American architecture and building are not likely to be the same after MIT’s new center is finished,” an Architectural Forum critic observed in 1955. But as renegade as it was when it was constructed, Eero Saainen’s unorthodox performance hall scrupulously followed function and the architectural vocabulary of the campus.

In the 1950s, MIT was in the midst of a postwar building boom only slightly less ambitious than the one it undertook a half-century later. Saarinen was commissioned to design two structures in the vast unsettled frontier of the West Campus, a new auditorium and a new chapel.

Saarinen devised a three-cornered dome to unify the Institute’s architectural landscape by mirroring MIT’s two trademark domes that sit at the gateway to the eastern half of the campus. Rising 50’ above the ground at its apogee, the 1200-ton Kresge dome is one-eighth of a concrete sphere, supported at three points by concrete and steel abutments. Structurally, the domed roof actually floats free of the brick base of the auditorium it protects. Because there are no columns, every seat in Kresge Auditorium has an unobstructed view of the stage. The lower level incorporates the 200-seat Little Theater, greenroom, checkroom, lounges, offices, and service areas.

References: www.greatbuildings.com, www.interlochen.k12.mi.us/arts_festival, http://web.mit.edu/evolving/projects/kresge

Brasilia National Congress Complex — Central Brazil

  • Architect: Oscar Niemeyer
  • Description: Concave & Convex Cupola
  • Construction: 1958
  • Vision: Build the city of the future

As an architectural experience or a dream of a futuristic city, this government facility is a unique one. Brasilia remains today as one of the most interesting places in the world. It includes the Palacio do Congresso (Capitol Building), the upper parts of the National Senate and Chamber of Deputies Halls and various offices. It’s flanked by two bowls, one facing up and one facing down. It is both beautiful and abstract and quickly became one of the most recognizable icons in town.

Reference:www.viagensimagens.com

Ellsworth AFB PRIDE Aircraft Hangar — Rapid City, South Dakota

  • Architect: Anton Tedesko
  • Description: Mega-utilitarian structure, 300’ span
  • Construction: 1947-1949

The PRIDE Hangar embraces the spirit of the base personnel; its acronym PRIDE stands for Professional Results In Daily Efforts.

Construction on the hangar started on July 6, 1947 in preparation for the huge B-36 Peacemaker bombers. Completed on October 24, 1949, it was reputed to be one of the world’s largest monolithic (having no visible internal supports) structures. Its exterior appearance is historic, a reminder of the early cold war era and a period of significant growth for Ellsworth AFB.

The concrete framework that was poured over the skeletal structure is 7" thick at the base and 5" at the center. There are 13 ribs, each 5 feet high and spaced about 20’ apart. The ribs, which support the roof, are supported by pedestals that are buried about 2’ underground. The building’s floor space is 125,649’ square, large enough for two B-36s or six B-29 Superfortresses.

Reference: www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/facility/ellsworth.htm

Loring AFB Aircraft Hangar — Limestone, Maine

  • Architect: Anton Tedesko
  • Description: A parabolic arch structure, 340’ span
  • Construction: Began 1948

The structure is 16’ high at the springings and 74’ at the crown. Shell consists of a reinforced concrete slab, with a thickness varying from 5" to 7", stiffened with a 20" 5’ rib, thickened to a depth of 7’ near the abutments. The stiffening ribs are spaced 25’ apart, and a construction joint is located in the center of alternate ribs, dividing the 300’ overall length into 6 sections.

Reference: www.arche.pus.edu/thinshells/module

Warner Auditorium, Anderson University — Anderson, Indiana

  • Description: Headquarters of the International Church of God Convention
  • Auditorium: Named after Daniel Warner
  • Capacity: Largest room 2,207; Smallest room 15; Banquet accommodation 400

Anderson University is located near the main shopping and business districts, is convenient to the Anderson Municipal Airport, and is just northeast of Indianapolis and a few hours from Chicago.

Reference: www.madtourism.com/tm/anderson.html

Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena — Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Description: Multi-purpose Arena
  • Diameter of open floor: 190’
  • Ceiling Height: 42’ above center, 60’ above loge rail
  • Capacity: Varies with event: stage shows with seating in the round can accommodate up to 8,800; court side events can seat 7,700.

The Arena is a circular performance facility with unobstructed sight lines suitable for concerts, sporting events, meetings, conventions, consumer shows, family shows and other specialty events. The upper level has permanent upholstered theater chairs. The lower level has portable padded seats and seating risers that can be reconfigured or removed.

Reference: www.blaisdellcenter.com

Image: Yakima Valley SunDome — Yakima, Washington — Capacity: 5,602 for baseball; 6,698 for boxing; 3,831 to 7,926 for concerts; 4,850 for rodeo; 7,782 for wrestling; 5,686 for arena football

Yakima Valley SunDome — Yakima, Washington — Capacity: 5,602 for baseball; 6,698 for boxing; 3,831 to 7,926 for concerts; 4,850 for rodeo; 7,782 for wrestling; 5,686 for arena football

Image: University of Illinois Assembly Hall—Urbana, Illinois — Performers and events hosted at Assembly Hall include The Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley, U2, Frank Sinatra, “Les Miserables,” Bob Hope, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Aerosmith, Reba McEntire, Tina Turner, “Cats,” Bill Cosby, University of Illinois Commencement, The Harlem Globetrotters, Bruce Springsteen, “Sesame Street Live!”, and countless others.

University of Illinois Assembly Hall—Urbana, Illinois — Performers and events hosted at Assembly Hall include The Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley, U2, Frank Sinatra, “Les Miserables,” Bob Hope, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Aerosmith, Reba McEntire, Tina Turner, “Cats,” Bill Cosby, University of Illinois Commencement, The Harlem Globetrotters, Bruce Springsteen, “Sesame Street Live!”, and countless others.

Image: University of Illinois Assembly Hall—Urbana, Illinois — Assembly Hall opened on March 2, 1963 and continues to attract attention for its design and construction.

University of Illinois Assembly Hall—Urbana, Illinois — Assembly Hall opened on March 2, 1963 and continues to attract attention for its design and construction.

Image: Hershey Park Arena—Hershey, Pennsylvania  — Hershey Park Arena, with seating for 7,350, has been home to hockey since its construction.

Hershey Park Arena—Hershey, Pennsylvania — Hershey Park Arena, with seating for 7,350, has been home to hockey since its construction.

Image: Hershey Park Arena—Hershey, Pennsylvania  — This unique structure has hosted many events over the years, with one outstanding feature-not a bad seat in the house.

Hershey Park Arena—Hershey, Pennsylvania — This unique structure has hosted many events over the years, with one outstanding feature-not a bad seat in the house.

Image: Pallazzo Dello Sport (Great Sports Palace)—Rome, Italy — Engineer Pier Luigi Nervi made this dome 194 feet in diameter and 69 feet in height.

Pallazzo Dello Sport (Great Sports Palace)—Rome, Italy — Engineer Pier Luigi Nervi made this dome 194 feet in diameter and 69 feet in height.

Image: Thompson Arena, Dartmouth College—Hanover, New Hampshire — This facility includes five spacious, carpeted, dressing rooms for varsity, sub-varsity, and visiting teams, plus two complete training rooms, offices, the William Smoyer ’67 Lounge, where the Friends of Dartmouth Hockey receptions are held, as well as storage and skate-sharpening areas.

Thompson Arena, Dartmouth College—Hanover, New Hampshire — This facility includes five spacious, carpeted, dressing rooms for varsity, sub-varsity, and visiting teams, plus two complete training rooms, offices, the William Smoyer ’67 Lounge, where the Friends of Dartmouth Hockey receptions are held, as well as storage and skate-sharpening areas.

Image: Leverone Field House, Dartmouth College—Hanover, New Hampshire — Leverone Field House has an indoor track, weight room, indoor practice area for football, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and rugby.

Leverone Field House, Dartmouth College—Hanover, New Hampshire — Leverone Field House has an indoor track, weight room, indoor practice area for football, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and rugby.

Image: Norfolk SCOPE Arena & Conference Hall—Norfolk, Virginia — Norfolk Scope has the capacity of 85,000 square feet, 12,600 seats for sport events, 13,800 for conventions, and 150-seat restaurant.

Norfolk SCOPE Arena & Conference Hall—Norfolk, Virginia — Norfolk Scope has the capacity of 85,000 square feet, 12,600 seats for sport events, 13,800 for conventions, and 150-seat restaurant.

Image: Waikiki Shell—Honolulu, Hawaii — The Waikiki Shell is an unique venur for outdoor concerts and other large gatherings.

Waikiki Shell—Honolulu, Hawaii — The Waikiki Shell is an unique venur for outdoor concerts and other large gatherings.

Image: Waikiki Shell—Honolulu, Hawaii — The tropical climate of Hawaii makes the Waikiki Shell a perfect setting for a memorable afternoon lawn party or even concert.

Waikiki Shell—Honolulu, Hawaii — The tropical climate of Hawaii makes the Waikiki Shell a perfect setting for a memorable afternoon lawn party or even concert.

Image: Kresge Auditorium, MIT—Cambridge, Massachusetts — This open-sided amphitheater was built in the 1940s as an orchestra shell on the shores of Green Lake.

Kresge Auditorium, MIT—Cambridge, Massachusetts — This open-sided amphitheater was built in the 1940s as an orchestra shell on the shores of Green Lake.

Image: Kresge Auditorium, MIT—Cambridge, Massachusetts — Because there are no columns, every sear in Kresge Auditorium has an unobstructed view of the stage.

Kresge Auditorium, MIT—Cambridge, Massachusetts — Because there are no columns, every sear in Kresge Auditorium has an unobstructed view of the stage.

Image: Brasilia National Congress Complex—Central Brazil — As an architectural experience or a dream of a futuristic city, this government facility is a unique one.

Brasilia National Congress Complex—Central Brazil — As an architectural experience or a dream of a futuristic city, this government facility is a unique one.

Image: Brasilia National Congress Complex—Central Brazil — This complex is flanked by two bowls, one facing up, and one facing down.  It is both beautiful and abstract and quickly became one of the most recognizable icons in town.

Brasilia National Congress Complex—Central Brazil — This complex is flanked by two bowls, one facing up, and one facing down. It is both beautiful and abstract and quickly became one of the most recognizable icons in town.

Image: Ellsworth AFB PRIDE Aircarft Hangar—Rapid City, South Dakota — Ellsworth AFB’s exterior appearance is historic, a reminder of the early cold war era and a period of significant growth for this base.

Ellsworth AFB PRIDE Aircarft Hangar—Rapid City, South Dakota — Ellsworth AFB’s exterior appearance is historic, a reminder of the early cold war era and a period of significant growth for this base.

Image: Loring AFB Aircraft Hangar—Limestone, Maine — This structure is a parabolic arch with a span of 340 feet.

Loring AFB Aircraft Hangar—Limestone, Maine — This structure is a parabolic arch with a span of 340 feet.

Image: Warner Auditorium, Anderson University—Anderson, Indiana — This auditorium is the headquarters of the International Church of God Convention.

Warner Auditorium, Anderson University—Anderson, Indiana — This auditorium is the headquarters of the International Church of God Convention.

Image: Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena—Honolulu, Hawaii — The Arena is a circular performance facility with unobstructed sight lines suitable for most events.

Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena—Honolulu, Hawaii — The Arena is a circular performance facility with unobstructed sight lines suitable for most events.