If you’ve ever been taken out to the ballgame, you may have spent more time leaving the stadium than you should. Inefficient building transportation systems often end up clogging galleys with fans who just want to get home.
When New York Yankees retained Tishman Speyer to manage the development of their new home, they planned to create a visionary replacement for one of baseball’s most iconic stadiums. Tishman Speyer first engaged the Edgett Williams Consulting Group in 2005 to review the architect’s design concept. That design sought to deliver a breathtaking experience for attendees, but it exclusively used escalators. Tight site conditions suggested that it might be worthwhile to explore other options.
The challenge was a familiar one to EWCG. The firm began with a detailed analysis of the site. Because the new stadium was not moving far from its predecessor, we were able to use recent pedestrian surveys to produce an accurate picture of traffic patterns. It quickly became apparent that the arrival and departure patterns were asymmetrical and required that the circulation systems inside the stadium have a similar asymmetry. We also learned that when fans exited, the volume of traffic from the third level would easily overwhelm the escalator system envisioned by the architects.
“Escalators have a large footprint, relative to the amount of people they carry,” explains Steve Edgett. “Our analysis showed that space constraints on the stadium’s design meant that there was simply insufficient room for the quantity of escalators needed to efficiently exit fans from the third tier of the stadium.”
Instead, EWCG proposed an innovative solution: a system of large elevators to move people to and from the third level. This had never been done in a modern stadium, but Tishman Speyer was intrigued by the idea of creating a continuous transport system on a far smaller footprint than was possible with conventional escalators.
EWCG’s modeling showed that if the stadium used shuttle elevators that were easily filled and had wait times below the required loading times, it could produce continuous movement that mimicked escalator use. Elevators also offered a significantly smaller footprint than a similar number of escalators, which freed up space for concessions and other considerations. And as a final bonus, they also reduced liability concerns and costs.
The system was eventually adopted and performed as expected.
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