Nearly every major professional sports team whose home has not been built or extensively remodeled in the past 10 years is planning a new facility, as are many universities with big time football or basketball programs. There are five components to almost every sports facility: seating--including structural risers; support structure--beams, columns and foundation; public access areas--ramps and concourses; interior wall separations; and exterior facade.
Weather resistance, easy maintenance, and a structural firmness preferred by spectators are the primary advantages of concrete as a material for riser construction. Prestressing is a necessity, since most riser units are required to span at least 40 feet. In addition, the high degree of repetition of these units makes them a natural for precasting. The support structure may be cast-in-place concrete, precast concrete, steel, or combination of them. Tens of thousands of square feet of corridors, stairs, ramps, and service areas are required to support the thousands of people attending the event. Precast, prestressed concrete double tees and hollow-core or solid flat slabs are commonly used. Precast architectural concrete is a good material for the outside cladding of the facility.