From modern to postmodern: the development of football stadia in Europe

Paramio, Juan Luis, Buraimo, Babatunde and Campos, Carlos (2008) From modern to postmodern: the development of football stadia in Europe. Sport in Society, 11 (5). pp. 517-534. ISSN 1743-0437

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Football stadia have continually evolved since the building of the first ‘modern’ stadia in Britain in the late nineteenth century to reflect the demands of spectators and governing bodies, as well as the increasing profile of football itself. Their changing nature, however, has become more acute in the last two decades as economic reasons, coupled with safety and security concerns, have contributed to the abolition of many ‘modern’ stadia and, by implication, the development of more advanced arenas, described metaphorically as ‘postmodern’ stadia. Accompanying this ongoing process, various stakeholders, from governing bodies to managers and architects, have put more emphasis on fundamental issues. Such issues include innovative design, high standards of accessibility, safety, flexibility to adjust to all kinds of sporting and non-sporting events and above all, economic viability, all of which are addressed in the planning and operational process. This essay examines the metamorphosis that historic and new stadia have undergone during the past years.

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