Sports and Recreational Facilities

As major centers of social and economic importance across the world, sports facilities and recreational buildings need to be optimized to admit hundreds or thousands of people on a regular basis, as well as to meet the needs of whatever activity takes place in the facility. Whether you’re looking for just the right turf or the most comfortable stadium seating, designing and building these facilities can lead into ultra-specialized waters, and requires a delicate balance of expertise.


October 20, 2017 | BD+C Staff

WSP, Walter P Moore, and ME Engineers top BD+C’s ranking of the nation’s largest sports...

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T-Moble Arena

T-Mobile Arena. Photo: Courtesy Populous, Jeff Goldberg

October 20, 2017 | BD+C Staff

Populous, HOK, and HKS top BD+C’s ranking of the nation’s largest sports sector architec...

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A 20,000-seat soccer stadium in downtown Sacramento is being designed with significant input by the local community through an outreach initiative launched by the city's pro soccer club and the project's architect. Image: HNTB

September 27, 2017 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

Sacramento Republic FC and HNTB are conducting a contest where the public can submit concept idea...

A rendering of Fifth Third Arena
September 11, 2017 | Troy Sherrard AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Partner, Sports & Recreation Architecture, Moody Nolan

While large 20,000-seat sports venues aren’t going away, mid-size venues provide advantages the b...

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Jacksonville Jaguars’ new practice facility, designed by Populous

The facility’s roof consists of 3,000 tons of structural steel that support a PTFE membrane. The PTFE fabric is suspended from 430-foot-long structural steel trusses that support an array of structural steel v-columns. Design architect Populous designed the roof form and then worked in tandem with Walter P Moore to create the roof’s structure and subdivide it into trusses. All images and renderings courtesy Populous


August 25, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor 

The project team employed Revit, Rhino, Grasshopper, Kangaroo, and a host of other software appli...

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John Rhodes, a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, met with Jamie Roberts (Wales), Tim Visser (Scotland), James Horwill (Australia) and Danny Care (England) to capture their ideas, both as players and fans.

HOK’s John Rhodes met with pro rugby players Jamie Roberts, Tim Visser, James Horwill, and Danny Care to discuss advanced design features and technologies. 


August 18, 2017 |

HOK invited four world-class rugby players into its London studio to discuss what they would like...

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A rendering of the practice court at the Detroit Pistons Performance Center

Rendering courtesy of Rossetti.

August 16, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The facility will be incorporated into the community with public spaces.

The Toronto York Recreation Centre serves three communities that participated in a number of design sessions with the project's Building Team. Image: Tom Arban Photography

July 17, 2017 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

Community engagement impacts its design and programming.

Pixabay Public Domain

June 21, 2017 | Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor

Bipartisan legislation would prevent use of municipal bonds by pro teams.

Clemson University has built an elaborate football operations facility, whose Building Team had to improvise to meet a 15-month construction deadline. Michael Robinson Photography

June 08, 2017 | John Caulfied, Senior Editor

Silver Award: Clemson gets a new football operations palace, thanks to its building partners’ abi...

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Renderings courtesy LA Rams

May 19, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The Rams and Chargers won’t be able to move in until the 2020 season.

A 3D-printed model of the 21,000-seat Little Caesars Arena in Detroit includes tiny versions of fans in every seat. The level of detail in this concept model was instrumental in selling suites in the arena, which opens in September. Image: Stratasys Direct Manufacturing

April 21, 2017 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

The centerpiece is the scaled replica of a new arena that puts a miniature fan in every seat.

April 21, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The facility will also include two floors of Class A laboratory and office space and retail space...

Rendering courtesy HOK

April 19, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The stadium is now scheduled to open on Aug. 26 in a preseason game between the Falcons and the J...

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April 07, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The concrete contains unique colors, aggregates, and textures.

April 05, 2017 | Arash Izadi

With the completion of the athletic facility upgrade—dubbed the Arden Project—students will have...

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SunTrust Park in Atlanta is racing toward its final stages of construction to be able to open on time for opening day for the Atlanta Braves' MLB baseball team. A newly released time-lapse video captures the last 21 months of construction in a flash. Image: 

March 09, 2017 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

OxBlue’s time-lapse video draws from more than 200,000 images.

601, an 11,500-sf multipurpose space within American Airlines Arena in Miami, is big enough to host three or four parties and events at once. Image: Courtesy The Heat Group

February 27, 2017 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

601 offers variety and flexibility not found in the arena’s other food and entertainment location...

Rendering courtesy of 3XN Architects.

February 22, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The Danish firm beat entries from Zaha Hadid Architects and Henning Larsen Architects for the pro...

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A rendering of the criminal justice facility that Rock Ventures is offering to build in Detroit's Wayne County in exchange for a coveted parcel of land on which the Rock Ventures would build a complex that includes a Major League Soccer stadium, a hotel, offices and apartments. Image: Rock Ventures LLC

February 08, 2017 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

He would take over a downtown Detroit site, where he wants to build a soccer stadium, and build a...

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January 26, 2017 | Jennifer Williams

Human performance facilities are emerging as a new way for people to attend to their overall well...

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Rendering courtesy of MANICA Architecture

January 11, 2017 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The proposal was designed by MANICA Architecture and would seat 65,000 fans with room to expand t...

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Rendering courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati

December 14, 2016 | David Malone, Associate Editor

Energy created by those exercising within would power the gym down the Seine.

Airborne San Diego, a three-story indoor skydiving facility, can accommodate all patrons, from beginners to military personnel. Its owner, Airborne America, wants to up to 10 of these venues in the U.S. over the next 5-7 years. Image: Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

December 06, 2016 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

The three-year-old company opens its first indoor skydiving facility featuring two wind tunnels....

Rendering courtesy of HOK

December 05, 2016 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The HOK-designed facility was created with more than just NHL games in mind, and has been nominat...

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Courtesy of HKS

November 29, 2016 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The stadium will be home to the L.A. Rams and will also host other world-class sporting events an...

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Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

November 14, 2016 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The architects say the project will be the greenest soccer stadium in the world once completed....

Rendering courtesy of Leo A Daly.

October 13, 2016 | David Malone, Associate Editor

“This design is all about drawing the community into the excitement of NHL hockey,” says Arnie Ma...

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The 377,000-sf Royal Arena in Copenhagen will include plazas that residents of the surrounding neighborhood can take advantage of. Image: Adam Mørk, Courtesy of 3XN Architects

October 12, 2016 | John Caulfield, Senior Editor

The design of this 377,000-sf building makes concessions to the residential community that surrou...

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September 26, 2016 | David Malone, Associate Editor

The park will serve as an urban oasis of outdoor activities for the surrounding area.

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