When I started Stadiafile, I compiled a list of ‘go-to’ websites for stadium research. It required a bit of digging, as writing critically about stadiums is not a common practice. Now that I’ve developed a collection of excellent sites I use for researching stadiums or that have a fresh approach to sport, I’d like to share them with you here:
Ballparks.com – an indispensable resource for anyone writing or thinking about stadiums. Not only is their index of global stadia impressive, but for each one they’ve collated a remarkable collection of each stadium’s history and news. It is the first site I go to when starting to think about a new stadium.
World Stadiums – attempts to be the most comprehensive online stadium resource. Lists stadiums by continent, seating capacity, competition type, and time period. The section on stadium design principles is interesting if basic – this site is a must visit for any stadium enthusiast – careful, though – time will be lost.
Stadium-Love – This tumblr site is a beautiful tribute to all things stadia. Content comes from outside submissions and I assume Stadium-Love posts its own images – the result is a collection of interesting, unique views of stadiums, both well-known and obscure.
Field of Schemes – What started as a book charting the financing of stadiums over the last twenty years by Neil deMause and Joanna Cagan, Field of Schemes is now a website that continues the focus on financing of stadium developments primarily in the United States. Since I am not an economist this website helps communicate the extremely complicated issues of stadium financing – the work of deMause and Cagan is essential reading.
Flip Flop Fly Ball – the baseball blog of Craig Robinson, the Liverpool-born artist whose book of the same name came out in 2009 and is nothing short of brilliant. Robinson’s infographics and pixelated portraits of baseball players and celebs are fantastic and inspire a new way to think about and imagine the Great American Pastime.
Left Field Cards – the brainchild of Brooklyn-based, French-born artist Amelie Mancini. Like Flip Flop, this website and related baseball card series provide a fresh take on the historic game in ways that provoke longtime fans to look at the game differently. Though not specifically stadium related, Mancini’s work deals with the image and visual representation of sport and as such reflects what Stadiafile is all about.
Estadios de Fútbol en España – run by Chris Clements, this site is all things Spanish stadia. Chris’ site boasts history and photographs for over 275 top-flight Spanish stadiums. You can search by level, region or stadia no longer in existence and each of the histories is very well written and equally well documented.
Played in Britain – I discovered this site while researching the great stadium architect Archibald Leitch. Supported by English Heritage among others, Played in Britain is a celebration of British Sport organized under four themes: Architecture and Sportscapes, Art, Artifacts and Archaeology. This site engages with the idea of play and its importance on society. Though not exclusively, its focus is on amateur sport, which is refreshing. In our culture where sport is a business with such large stakes, it is nice to celebrate sport played not just at the highest levels but at the grassroots as well.
Bing Maps – An essential resource for anyone researching stadiums or architecture in general for that matter. Bing’s unique ‘bird’s eye view mode’ allows you to see axonometric, 3-dimensional aerial photographs of any site in the world. Not only this, but the ability to rotate around the site makes an exterior, aerial tour of any stadium possible from your computer.