Bastian Kienitz / 123RF
Sport stadiums are a fast-growing sector of the construction industry. With an influx of money from Russia and the Middle East, football clubs desire increasingly innovative stadiums to house their multi-million-dollar athletes.
Firms are adding to their sports architecture portfolio in hopes of receiving lucrative projects and influencing the future of stadium building.
However, some forms dominate the sports architecture market and have specialized in building stadiums and accompanying sport facilities. In this article, we will run down the top firms in sports stadium construction.
Populous is the most well-known modern stadium construction firm and has their hands in stadium construction across the globe. Their portfolio is incredibly varied, and they have even collaborated in the making of North America’s first e-sports specific venue in Arlington, Texas.
The firm’s reported 2016 revenue for sports construction was approximately $119 million. This makes the American company the premier name in sports facility construction.
They are perhaps most well-known for their retro baseball stadium builds as they ushered in a new, nostalgic era of baseball stadiums.
But, the American firm has also made stadiums for all major sports league in the country with multiple NBA, NFL and NHL stadiums in their portfolio. They have also extensively worked with lower league baseball teams and have WNBA and college stadiums to their credit.
Populous have also expanded into the European market. They have made several high-profile football (soccer) stadiums including Wembley Stadium.
Wembley is the most important ground in English football, and the firm was challenged with innovating the iconic stadium. They kept distinct features such as the picturesque arch, and architects worked to expand the capacity to nearly 90,000 fans.
Populous have built football stadiums for Olympique Lyonnais, Arsenal and multiple MLS clubs. They also built state-of-the art facilities for Manchester City, a favorite of sports betting companies to be repeat as Premier League champions.
It is difficult to compete with the prowess and clientele of Populous. But, with the influx of money and prestige in building sports facilities, we are likely to see stiffer competition in the upcoming future.
HKS is a secondary competitor to Populous and also has an impressive list of clientele and stadiums. On their official website, the firm showcases some of their stadium builds with pictures highlighting their design.
They have worked with multiple NFL teams to build massive stadiums to house avid fans. Their marquee build would have to be the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Arlington stadium won three design awards, and is massive at 150 acres. It has a 100,000-seat capacity and is the crown jewel of the Cowboys franchise and pleased flamboyant owner Jerry Jones. It is gaudy stadium to live up to the name and prestige of the Dallas Cowboys.
HKS also worked on the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium and the new headquarters for the Los Angeles Rams. HKS has less of a focus on sports stadiums, and it accounts for a smaller portion of their revenue, but with the increasing scale of sports stadiums they will likely want to sign more contracts to build massive stadiums.
Gensler is another architecture firm with a large sports stadium portfolio. In 2016, their sports facility revenue topped $36 million.
Gensler is a top architectural firm, and they are most well-known in contemporary architecture for building Facebook Headquarters. But, Gensler also has an impressive list of sport clients.
Gensler has left their biggest footprint on the Los Angeles sports scene. They built the stadiums for the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers and LAFC. Also, Gensler has built important international stadiums for Toronto FC and Brazilian club Corinthians.
These three architecture firms have specialized in stadium construction to varying degrees, and while Populous has the biggest portfolio in this field, all three have impressive builds to their name.