HKS, Inc. just finished constructing SoFi Stadium for the Rams and Chargers, making this the fourth NFL stadium they built. HKS has a unique design for each stadium to deal with the climates and issues a stadium may face. Even though all four stadiums are unique in their ways, they still give off little scents of each other.
Lucas Oil Stadium (Home of the Colts)
Lucas Oil Stadium, the oldest and first stadium created by HKS, opened to the public in 2008. It offers a variety of features not seen in stadiums at the time. It was the third stadium ever in the NFL to install a retractable roof. Therefore, it allowed the Colts to open it up for games at the start of the season, and close it once it gets to wintertime. One end features a large retractable window, allowing the feel of an outdoor game to become more realistic. The exterior is built of brick and Indiana limestone. Indiana limestone keeps the materials of the stadium local and pays tribute to the state.
AT&T Stadium (Home of the Cowboys)
AT&T Stadium opened up to the public in 2009, one year after HKS finished Lucas Oil Stadium. The stadium has mechanized end zone glass doors that can open and close, depending on the weather. These glass doors allow more natural sunlight into the stadium. Also, there is a retractable roof that opens on days with good weather. Consequently, the stadium allows for games to have an outdoor feel while being comfortable inside. It shares similarities with Lucas Oil stadiums in their retractable roofs and mechanized end zone glass doors. A 60-yard wide video screen allows fans to see replays, announcements, and introductions in HD. AT&T Stadium was the best stadium in the NFL before HKS built more stadiums.
U.S. Bank Stadium (Home of the Vikings)
U.S. Bank Stadium is the second latest stadium built by HKS. The nearly all-glass exterior allows fans to walk by when it isn’t game day and still look at the field and the seats. The roof’s material, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), provides for natural light to come in the stadium in a day time game. It’s a considerable upgrade from the Metrodome, as the roof can withstand heavy snow. The slanted roof and heated gutters allow the snow to slide down or melt, without causing damage to the stadium, or obstruct the fans views.
The world’s five most substantial pivoting doors at entrances give fans room to enter the stadium with ease. The doors are kept open at game time, or closed, depending upon the weather. All three stadiums now have featured glass windows or doors behind the end zones which can open. HKS pleased Vikings fans with this stadium, as a new stadium was long overdue.
SoFi Stadium (Home of the Rams and Chargers)
SoFi Stadium, the newest stadium built by HKS, is something no one has seen before. The shape of the stadium is not the traditional rectangular or circular shape; instead, it is somewhat of a triangle. The stadium has a video board called the oculus, which circles the field, allowing fans to see stats and replays from any angle.
The roof also extends past the actual field and covers a concourse, with a hotel nearby it. Therefore allowing fans to come from different cities to stay the night and rest before watching a game. The translucent roof allows for natural light to come in during day games and shine onto the field. The stadium hasn’t been played on yet but is open for this season. It is one of the best stadiums in the league and will be around for a while if the Rams and Chargers stay put.
All four stadiums have similar features, which makes them some of the best stadiums in the NFL. They all allow natural light in, and three of the four can open up on good days weather-wise. The indoor stadium feel which can feel like an outdoor stadium in just minutes adds so much more character to the stadium. HKS makes very well done stadiums and can keep fans in their seats even when their team isn’t doing well. The innovations and additions put them at the top of their field for sports stadiums. It will be interesting to see who asks them to renovate or design a new stadium next.