The vaportecture watch never stops: Sacramento Republic and FC Cincinnati deliver latest stadium rendering knee-slappers

My vaportecture article at Deadspin appears to have unlocked some sort of floodgates, because now it seems like not a day goes by that some insane new stadium renderings aren’t unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace. Yesterday, for example, the owners of Sacramento Republic FC (currently a USL team, but in the running for an MLS expansion slot) released these:

There are some design oddities — why, for example, do all the fans in upper deck appear to be seated in love seats? — as well as some of our favorite vaportectural shtick: stadiums that mysteriously glow while all around them remains dark, athletes engaged in oddly unathletic endeavors (in this case a player taking a penalty kick by apparently engaging in a high jump), fans holding up scarves to obscure their fellow fans’ view during a key moment in the action. But a few eagle-eyed Twitter users went beyond that to look at the individual clipart people (“entourage,” we now know they’re called) and found, um:

I think it’s fair to say that, even if you by necessity have to populate your creation with stock images, it’s important to spread them around a little for at least minimal verisimilitude.

Then there’s this:

That was yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon, we got yet another round of F.C. Cincinnati renderings, which have previously provided some of the more hilarious moments in this field of study. The latest twist is apparently that the stadium will no longer have an unearthly glow — no, seriously:

Other new renderings show off such innovations as translucent scarves:

The stadium surrounded by a postapocalyptic wasteland of cut-and-paste identical buildings, where fans emerge from a portal from another dimension to arrive at the front gates (and also the stadium still glows somewhat, though not as much as the trees):

And still more, but I’m having trouble navigating the Cincinnati Enquirer’s terrible gallery layout, so please visit there yourself post your favorite items in comments, or on Twitter, or really anywhere.


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8 comments on “The vaportecture watch never stops: Sacramento Republic and FC Cincinnati deliver latest stadium rendering knee-slappers

  1. One of the funniest things is that the only one thinking people will actually show up at a MLS game is apparently the stadium architects.

  2. A lot of people show up at MLS games. Getting a love seat at a game would be weird and awesome.

  3. “A lot of people show up at MLS games.”

    With few exceptions, that is not true in my personal experience. Nor the experience of other people who’ve investigated it:

    1. A quote from that article: “MLS, like the NBA, NHL and even the English Premier League, bases crowd figures on the number of tickets distributed, a practice that has become an industry standard.” So you could say this about pro sports in general, not just MLS. Every MLS game I’ve personally attended (over two dozen) has been packed full with actual people.

      1. Using tickets distributed and not actual turnstile count is an industry standard, yes. Handing out tons of free or discounted tickets to goose the attendance is not.

        What cities have you been to MLS games in, I’m curious? Most of the Red Bull New York matches I’ve attended have been half-full — which is hardly a catastrophe, but also doesn’t especially match what it says in the box score. (And I attended a lot of those matches with deeply discounted tickets that were widely available, even in seasons where the team was doing well.)

        1. The majority of games I’ve been to were at Portland, Seattle and LAFC all sold out and full. Once at KC also sold out and full.
          Vancouver mostly full. San Jose and LAG maybe 3/4 full eyeballing it. Haven’t been there, but have yet to see an Atlanta game on TV with empty seats. This is not a complete list of attendance for all teams, just what I’ve personally witnessed. The stadiums away from city centers, like Chicago, Dallas, Colorado, NYRB, NE have a harder time filling seats because of their locations, which may explain your experience.

      2. How about “plenty of people show up at MLS games”. As a former season ticket holder for the Columbus Crew it was amazing how crowds which seemed roughly equivalent in person between 2015 & 2017 had widely disparate attendance figures. I don’t trust any attendance figures that haven’t been issued by Deloitte. When I worked at The Boston Globe the (then) consecutive “sell-out streak” was a running joke.

        Which leads to any interesting question: how many of these stadium “deals” have attendance clauses in them?

    2. In Chicago (Bridgeview) it’s still more of a “family outing” ticket. On summer afternoons, or weekend nights, the crowds are generally good. But on cold days, or nights during the school year, nope. 13 years ago I was impressed when they got 8,000 for a midweek cup final that was not part of any season ticket package. I thought that was a good indication of their core support. It doesn’t seem that they’ve built at all from there.

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