I want to see something that is a draw and completely unique compared to the other MLS stadiums going up. A soccer Mecca that will be a destination for all soccer fans in the United States.
So far the new stadium designs in Major League Soccer (MLS) have progressed slowly. From the erector set that is Crew Stadium to the newer “we have roofs but they really don’t do any good” parks of the present. The Dick (Dick’s Sporting Goods Park) and The Tool Shed (Home Depot Center) have nice roofs and stadium design but really do nothing when it comes to creating atmosphere. Unless of course you want to watch the match on the concourse of The Tool Shed or out in the parking lot of The Dick, then the atmosphere is great since the sound mostly travels outward. I don’t even want to mention Toyota Park. Damn, I just did. Anyway, it’s a joke and they shouldn’t have even wasted the time and money putting an overhang on it. It is to bad because Section 8 would have much more of an impact on the match.
I would like to see OnGoal build a park that is going to keep the sound in and amplify it. The slope of the stands impacts sound. It is very important to have a steep enough slope so the fan’s voices will be projected out towards the field.
Will the touch line be less than 10 feet from the first row of fans? Will concrete walls elevate the first row of seats above the field? I personally hope not. The first row of seats should be lower than the pitch putting the fans as close as possible to the action. Yes they might have bad sight lines in the first couple of rows but this is America and we Americans love to be close as possible to the action. Someone will pay big bucks to sit there.
Will the stadium have a roof over the all the fans? Or will it just be over the 2 main stands on the sides? Hopefully they are not planning to build like the ones we already have. I would like something along the lines of those in England. The 4-sided ones preferably, and not the newer bowl-type that have been built in the last 10 years. i.e. Hull City, Swansea City, Coventry City, and the MK Dons just to name to few. These newer bowl-type have worked out great financially for the club, but have really hurt the atmosphere of the games.
Lastly we go to the SS (Supporters Section). The die-hards who are there every match no matter the record of the club. The atmosphere for all MLS matches start here. We have yet to see a new stadium with the SS being considered, better yet emphasized, during design. Most of the SS are on the end-lines or in the corner in the open air, with no covering to keep the sound in creating home field advantage. No matter where the SS is in the stadium it has to have a covering. I would prefer something like this for us nutters!
But with white seats placed in there spelling out “The Cauldron”. This holds about 2,500 people which should be about right in a few more years at the rate the SS is growing. I know it is nothing fancy but that is not important to me. Making as much of an impact on the match as possible is my goal. Whether it be getting into a keepers head or singing and spurring my team onto a victory. I know that the Cauldron would rock and blow everyone away if this was the SS for the new Wizards stadium, forever killing the current image of our fan base.
Only time will tell. Maybe in 60-90 days we will see something official from the club. I am sure OnGoal will come up with something great, a stadium that will be a huge success financially for Kansas City and the club and builds the atmosphere and passion we know exists. A stadium that makes the Wizards another Kansas City event that every “Joe Schmo” wants to attend.