Stadium Seats Slide on Water

by James M. Tolle, (M.ASCE), Project Engr.; DMJM/Phillips-Reister, Denver, Colorado,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 6, Pg. 90-94

Document Type: Feature article


In Denver, a unique 21,000 seat, 9-million pound movable stand is used to convert the Denver Mile High Stadium from baseball to football or soccer. The stands are lifted and move on 163-forty ton water bearings and to date is the largest structure in the world to be moved on fluid-film water bearings. Other alternative movement systems considered were wheel and rail, and air bearings. The stands are moved by two 135-ton hydraulic gripper jacks at an average speed of 2 ft/min which completes a move in less than 2 hours. Highlights of the unique computer analysis, design of the structure, construction and field testing are reported.

Subject Headings: Stadiums and sport facilities | Water management | Computer analysis | Field tests | Rail transportation | Hydraulics | Structural design | Structural analysis | Denver | Colorado | United States

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