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Climate vulnerability as a catalyst for early stadium replacement

Timothy Kellison (Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Madeleine Orr (SUNY Cortland, Cortland, New York, USA)

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship

ISSN: 1464-6668

Article publication date: 2 September 2020

Issue publication date: 27 March 2021




Severe hazards associated with climate change are threatening human settlements, thereby requiring global cities to implement comprehensive climate adaptation strategies. For sports organizations, adaptive measures may include designing and constructing new stadiums. In this study, the authors explore climate change as a vehicle for urban transformation, particularly as it relates to the replacement of existing stadiums with new, more sustainable and resilient venues.


The authors employed a collective case study approach focusing on three recent cases of stadium replacement: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas; Oakland Ballpark in Oakland, California; and Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. These cases were selected because an official representative of each team made explicit references to some form of climate adaptation, though each ballpark faces a distinctive climate-related threat.


Each of the cases illustrates the various ways in which climate vulnerability may be deployed by teams and policymakers to replace professional sports stadiums. Although all three examples involved the replacement of an existing ballpark, only in the Texas case was climate adaptation openly cited as the primary reason for stadium replacement. Still, ballpark replacement plans in Oakland and Miami included significant and costly design features to protect the stadiums from extreme weather events.


This study applies the concept of climate vulnerability to illustrate a potential strategy to justify stadium replacement. As cities and metropolitan regions continue to grapple with the grand challenge of climate change, the associated vulnerability of large public assembly facilities such as major sports stadiums – particularly those prominently situated in urban centers – can no longer be ignored.



The authors thank Rosemary Kellison for her recommendation to conduct this study.


Kellison, T. and Orr, M. (2021), "Climate vulnerability as a catalyst for early stadium replacement", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 126-141.



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