Why Ford Field Is the Best Domed Stadium on Earth
Domed stadiums, from the Georgia Dome to the Superdome, are usually pallid and dull environments. Ford Field in Detroit, however, would have to be the Whole Foods of the stadium world. Natural light filters in from the massive ceiling, reducing energy consumption on average by 15 percent. Over 25,000 recycled tires pad the soft FieldTurf on the football field. Floors and elevator foyers use bamboo for flooring. And over 20 million pounds of recycled steel comprise the 1.85 million square feet stadium. The result is just another one of Bill Ford’s legacies because of his insistence back in 2000 that the new stadium be built as sustainably as possible. But the best feature is the preserved warehouse that forms part of Ford Field's main concourse. The old J.L. Hudson Department store warehouse anchors the southern flank of this massive structure. Adams Street, once a thriving thoroughfare, has been preserved, and the brick-paved hall offers a touch of authenticity in this massive facility that seats 65,000 people. It takes more than a stadium to revive a downtown, but Ford Field and nearby Comerica Stadium (though we still love Tiger Stadium more) are doing their part with their splendid architecture. If you have a chance to peek inside Ford Field, you will not be disappointed. Like the rest of downtown Detroit, Ford Field for its own reasons is a treasure. Photos courtesy Leon Kaye.