Architects explain Washington NFL stadium moat as “gentle transition,” are just trolling us now

Want to know why Washington NFL owner Daniel Snyder’s proposed stadium design has a moat around it? Here’s why it has a moat, courtesy of a Washington Business Journal article titled, “Now we know why Dan Snyder’s stadium has a moat“:

According to Bjarke Ingels Group, the water feature would provide separation between the tailgating area and the stadium (as opposed to a fence or wall), while a series of bridges would act as new gates. “Access becomes a gentle transition between the tailgating and game,” reads the description. If you remember the tunnels from RFK Stadium to the parking lots, it’s not too far removed from that … except for the water part. And as was already revealed in one of the renderings (click through our gallery, above), the moat would in fact double as a wave pool in the summer and an ice rink in the winter.

Um, guys? That doesn’t actually explain why the stadium design has a moat, unless maybe it’s “the Bjarke Ingels Group architects have never been to a sporting event, and think that walking across a narrow bridge with 70,000 other fans to get from tailgating to the game would be a ‘gentle transition.'” Also possibly “the Bjarke Ingels Group architects have never been to D.C., and don’t realize that if it ever snows there, people will more likely be cowering in their homes than going out to ice skate on a frozen moat that will probably plunge them to their deaths at any second, because this isn’t Minnesota, people.”

On the other hand, here it is one month later, and we’re still talking about that damned moat, instead of about who on earth would actually build this thing when the team just got a new stadium 19 years ago. It’s all about the misdirection.

12 comments on “Architects explain Washington NFL stadium moat as “gentle transition,” are just trolling us now

  1. Maybe their proposal makes sense from a design perspective. What doesn’t jive with this “gentle transition” they are trying to create is metal detectors, bag checks and everything else the new frontier of arena security includes.

  2. Nah, they’d be out skating on it, once the canal freezes you can see people playing shinny on it during the winter.

  3. Might there be a simpler explanation? RFK sits in a flood plain. After any substantial rain its parking lot floods. A canal or moat could provide drainage.

  4. It’s all in the last paragraph, these guys already have a stadium, cost almost 400 million (in today’s dollars) 19 years ago.

  5. “It’s all in the last paragraph, these guys already have a stadium, cost almost 400 million (in today’s dollars) 19 years ago.”

    That’s the part of the story I’d love addressed: What exactly has made the cost of these stadiums explode to that degree in a couple decades? They can’t seem to build one for under a billion when even in adjusted dollars they were half that or less not long ago.

    Atlanta is the same story with the old Georgia Dome costing around $360 million in 2016 dollars while the new stadium is basically the same size and is well over a billion.

    The new stadiums have more luxury suites and larger and fancier scoreboards but nothing I’ve seen should double the cost of them.

  6. The retractable roof iris in Atlanta has to be hideously expensive. But also newer stadiums are much larger in footprint, and contain more crap — you’re paying for steakhouses, in other words, as much as for actual game experience.

  7. I like how there’s nothing to prevent the roller bladers/skaters from falling into the wave pool.

  8. Using CPI to bring stadium costs to current dollars might not be appropriate and would also help to explain the discrepancy. The goods used in a stadium as far different than what sits in the CPI basket.

  9. Nah, modern MLB and NFL stadium just have way more gewgaws. Compare with MLS stadiums, which have stayed comfortably in the $100-200m range because they’re not getting big subsidies and MLS fan buying power isn’t strong enough yet to justify cramming in lots of expensive revenue generators like upscale clubs.

  10. That’s very true. Come buy a ticket to sit in a sports bar in the stadium and watch the game on TV! Don’t forget to upgrade your ticket for access to the team museum and get 10% at the official team store on your purchase of $200 or more.