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Steiner Stadium, also known as The Coliseum, is one of the five Open Arenas which form part of the Solaris Games, gladiatorial BattleMech fights which take place on Solaris VII. Located in the Silesia sector of Solaris City and controlled by House Steiner, it is perhaps best known for its advanced lostech barrier which allows the audience to watch 'Mech matches live.
Steiner Stadium was created in direct response to The Jungle, House Liao's open class arena, with the Archon demanding that the Commonwealth's arena be superior to the Confederation's. Nashan Diversified was put in charge of the project and set up a Commonwealth-wide contest to determine the final design. To the suspicions of many, it was a Nashan architect who submitted the winning design, which had been modeled on the Colosseum of Rome. A board of inquiry set up by the Rahneshire Supreme Court eventually found no fault in the selection, though many continued to suspect foul play and did nothing to allay the main criticisms of the unpopular neoclassical structure: that the battle floor itself was without any features and the seating arrangement for the spectators put them in the path of weapons fire. The former problem was answered with the addition of pop-up terrain obstacles, though the solution to the latter would not be known until construction was almost complete, when workers installed what Nashan would only call the "disruptor grid". Weeks of testing proved the system would protect the audience from the combatants below them, and Steiner Stadium became one of the few arenas to allow a live audience to watch the match. The creation of the Federated Commonwealth would provide an opportunity for Nashan to upgrade the Stadium, and planning began in 3048 to add many of the features found in the Davion's Boreal Reach to the Stadium. Unfortunately the Clan Invasion put those plans on hold as the war took center stage.
The Steiner Coliseum’s arena itself was not heavily damaged during the Jihad, though it rose to infamy as the site of many staged bout-executions (where Blakist ’Mechs slaughtered some of Solaris VII’s best gladiators in mismatched duels with their opponents’ weapons disabled and the like). Its underground ’Mech bays, where some fighting took place, were far more heavily damaged, as were the Coliseum seating areas, and the outside areas, including the mammoth parking garages and other commercial structures surrounding the arena facilities. All of these supplemental features were rebuilt, with most more luxurious than ever.
The terrain of the Stadium floor is largely an expanse of sand, broken up in parts by pop-up obstacles and hidden mines controlled by the command center. The obstacles and mines are in fixed locations but are supposed to be operated by random, though many operators have a favorite pattern, making it valuable knowledge to know who is at the controls for any given match. While not as challenging as other arenas, many MechWarriors look forward to fighting at the Stadium thanks to its familiarity. Ramps at either end of the stadium lead down to underground 'Mech bays and other facilities.
The most important part of what makes Steiner Stadium work, though, is its "detonator grid," a piece of technology from the forgotten years of the Star League. A lattice of monofilament wires are installed around the arena floor and connected to the main power lines. When activated, the grid is capable of defeating nearly any attack: missiles are detonated before they get too close, projectiles are deflected by powerful magnetic fields, and energy weapons are drained of their power. When combined with heavy ferroglass sheeting to protect the box seats, the "detonator grid" provides total protection and allows for direct viewing of the action on the floor. How the grid accomplishes these feats is unknown, though given the amount of power it consumes, attempts to replicate it on the 'Mech scale were considered impractical.
The post-Jihad Steiner Coliseum arena is essentially identical to its pre-Jihad configuration. As an extra perk, however, matches set after 3095 introduced an option for what the arena’s promoters called Aggressive Audience Participation, in which spectators could electronically pay to have remote-controlled weapons open fire on the combatants.
The Stadium offers three tiers of seating for its capacity of 44,000 spectators. Private booths and box seating provide the most direct views of the Stadium floor, with tickets going for 100 and 75 C-bills respectively, with the addition of either Tri-Vid or high-resolution flatscreen monitors for replay viewings. These seats are not as luxurious as those found in the Jungle, but nevertheless cater to the needs of the well-to-do fan and provide an unparalleled view of 'Mech combat. General seating for 40,000 is available for 20 C-bills a ticket, and while not given as best an angle as the box seats the slopping arrangement of the cushioned seats still provide excellent viewing. Replays and stats are displayed on large-format flatscreens inside the ferroglass shielding while a variety of concessions and facilities can be quickly accessed through the combination horizontal/vertical elevator system.
- Solaris VII: The Game World - Player's Book, p. 58, 60
- Experimental Technical Readout: Royal Fantasy, p. 33-34 "3146 Royal Fantasy Rules - Steiner Coliseum (Steiner Arena)"