Whenever I’m in a city with an Olympic stadium, I try to visit it. I haven’t seen a lot yet – maybe half a dozen – but each one has provided its own unique experience. I’ve watched more than one baseball game at the Big O in Montréal. My favourite is the one in Berlin. The original in Ancient Olympia is the most awe-inspiring, while the most disappointing is in Helsinki. And the funkiest by far is in Munich.
The grounds surrounding the actual stadium are covered with huge glass and steel canopies that were supposed to imitate the Alps, look kind of like tents, and put me in mind of trying to secure a tarp on a windy day. The canopies also ring half of the stadium proper, tying the whole grounds together thematically.
Inside the stadium, there’s an interesting juxtaposition between the swooping lines of the canopies, and the linear nature both of the structure holding it all together, and the banks of seats.
Speaking of seats, I’ve never been so enamored of decidedly uncomfortable, mass produced pieces of plastic on which to rest my butt. There’s a sea of them. They’re green. And I took a weirdly high number of photos of them.
The architecture is definitely worth the stop, although the basic admission for a self-guided walk through is plenty. It’s possible to do a roof walk, but it’s ridiculously overpriced.
As is the zipline.
Funnily enough, even though we didn’t go on it, it was the zipline that provided the final, adorable touch to our visit. Or, well, not the zipline itself, but this guy.
Because there was an event coming up, and he was part of the crew setting up a temporary stage in the middle of the bowl.
The zipline passed directly above the stage. And every time a zipliner came zooming towards him, he’d stop working and wave.