|Ford Hall at Rogers Place has become a versatile, and visual, gathering place.
Area: Ford Hall (opened in 2016)
Access: Ticketed and non-ticketed guests
In the planning of the Oilers’ new home, 25,000-square-foot Ford Hall was designed to funnel fans from the newly constructed Ice District development, on the south side of downtown Edmonton, across busy 104th Avenue into Rogers Place. Since the building opened last year, however, the hall has been a versatile, multi-use space that just happens to feature stunning curvilinear glass and a unique piece of indigenous art. In addition to serving as Rogers Place’s grand entrance and an event space for galas and business functions, the Oilers use a portion of the sprawling atrium for the Molson Canadian Hockey House, a pregame hangout where fans can meet with friends before a game to grab a beer and watch highlights from games wrapping up on the East Coast. With the Oilers seemingly poised to make their first playoff appearance in a decade, the team plans to expand Hockey House and even host public viewing parties on big screens.
|Rendering shows the Outfield Experience, which opens this year.
Area: The Outfield Experience (opens in 2017)
Access: All ticketed guests
The Yankees are taking several steps this offseason to cater to 21st-century fans and families, none more significant than their new Outfield Experience. The three social spaces are communal, standing-room-only areas open to all ticketed fans. The left-field and right-field areas — the Frank’s Red Hot Terrace and the Toyota Terrace, respectively — are new, while the Masterpass Batter’s Eye Deck in center field has been expanded. Each area features a full bar and offers to-be-announced food items specific to that space. The Yankees expect the spaces to be selfie hotspots and have equipped them with USB chargers, as well as drink rails and limited seating. The rollout of the outfield experience coincides with the team’s introduction of the Pinstripe Pass, a ticket that offers fan access to the game, along with a beer, without an assigned seat.
|Conceptual rendering of the North End Club
Area: North End Club (opens in 2017)
Access: Club ticket holders only
Fans seated in sections 201-205 at the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons will have access to the arena’s North End Club, a premium space that the team designed with millennials in mind. Situated above the stage for concerts, the two-level space offers prime sight lines for hockey and basketball, as well as room to mill about and mingle. The first level features general chair seating, while the top level features high-top tables and stool seating. Each tier has its own bar offering craft cocktails. While club-access tickets will be a bit pricier than other seats in the 200 level, they are less expensive than seats in the lower bowl, offering an elevated experience priced for young professionals.
|COTA’s tower shines both outside and inside.
(opened in 2012)
Area: Observation Tower (opened in 2012)
Access: All ticketed guests with additional fee
As the Circuit of the Americas approaches its fifth anniversary, the U.S. home for Formula One racing still boasts the most magnificent view in motorsports. The Texas track’s 22-story observation tower serves as an eye-catching landmark rising from the center of the facility, and the 20-minute experience at the top is always a highlight of any trip to COTA. The entire facility is visible from the top, including the race below, and on a clear day fans are treated to spectacular views of downtown Austin. For adrenaline junkies, there’s a glass floor toward the front of the platform. Groups have the option of buying a champagne toast atop the tower, which has proved popular among the F1 crowd. Naturally, the pinnacle is a hotspot for photos, and the line for the elevator ride to the top is sometimes hundreds deep.
|The Athletics’ new club draws inspiration from Shibe Park, where the team played in Philly.
Area: Shibe Park Tavern (opens in 2017)
Access: All ticketed guests
In Dave Kaval’s short tenure as president of the A’s — he took over last November — he has made a concerted effort to cater to the common fan, most noticeably holding office hours to listen to feedback on all aspects of the organization. On the facilities side, the team is completely revamping the Coliseum’s West Side Club. Now called the Shibe Park Tavern, the space will pay homage to the club’s former home in Philadelphia. In addition to featuring bricks from the old ballpark and memorabilia from the early days, Shibe Park Tavern will house billiards, shuffleboard and craft beer, along with new TVs. Most importantly, the club still offers a prime first-baseline view, allowing fans to stay connected to the action on the field. Also new for ’17 at the coliseum is the Champions Pavilion, an outdoor area featuring food trucks, big screens and bocce courts.