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The orientation of the stadium is crucial to the overall design, and it influences many factors such as the pitch, roof design, spectator viewing experience and TV broadcasting. In a number of competitions and tournaments, the appropriate orientation of the stadium is a fundamental requirement.


The main parameters to take into account for stadium orientation include its geographical location, specifically whether it is located in the northern or southern hemisphere and at what latitude; the time of year and the time of day when the venue will predominately be used; and other local environmental factors such as prevailing wind.


Good stadium orientation should alleviate the issue of sun glare on all TV broadcasts and for those in the commentary positions, as well as those seated in the media, VIP and VVIP areas.

On the basis that these seats and the main TV camera gantry should be located in the main stand, the stadium orientation should ensure that the sun is behind the main stand at times when matches are likely to be played.


Figure 2.2.1
North-south axis orientation indicating the acceptable range of orientation

The most common orientation of a pitch/stadium is on a predominately north-south axis within the range of degrees shown in Figure 2.2.1.

If a stadium’s orientation falls within this range, it is likely to be consistent with international best practice. However, to ensure the best orientation on any given site, it is advisable that a sun path/trajectory study be undertaken.

Figure 2.2.2
Sun path/trajectory study (northern hemisphere)


The orientation of the stadium in relation to direct sunlight and prevailing winds should also be considered in order to maximise sunlight and ventilation to the pitch to promote the growth of the grass. The design of the stadium roof and possibly parts of the facade will also need to be looked at in this process, taking account of the potential for unwanted heat gain to internal areas, which can increase energy usage within the stadium (see Section 2.7)

The extent of shading and/or wind protection from existing developments and topographical features such as hills or mountains should also be evaluated. The effects of this shading/wind protection could be good or bad with regard to the optimal stadium orientation.

How the stadium is oriented is also likely to be influenced by the potential to cause a reduction in light levels to neighbouring buildings. This can affect the massing of the stadium as well as its orientation.