Athletics Stadium Design & Construction
The main points of interest in Athletics usually take place in the vicinity of the 100m track, with the jump pits and various finishes close by.
Because the best bits of most events happen in the afternoon, the place for the stand is at the southwest side (northwest side in the Southern Hemisphere) where the spectators do not have to look into the sun and they are best protected from bad weather.
Athletics usually draw smaller crowds than ball sports or racing, and usually on a smaller budget, so it makes sense to make the most favorable stand first, and put the stadium facilities under it. If more seats are needed, then new small straight simple stands designs can be developed close to points of interest - the throwing areas, for example.
Towering spires above the canopies on the sun side produce sun / shade contrasts and, though this is not as damaging as it is with cricket, it interferes with TV coverage and is best avoided.
New curved design stands cost 2 or 3 times as much as straight, so it is better to develop small straight stands. The wedges should be in filled only when more seats are needed. In tropical countries, the gaps between stands give welcome air movement. In cold countries, filling in the north sides (south in Southern Hemisphere) may give welcome protection from the elements.