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According to the Sports Business Journal, the NFL’s Washington Redskins have hired Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design the team a new stadium.

If this report is indeed true, this would signify the first step in the team’s journey to depart FedEx Field (pictured above) in order to relocate to a new bespoke stadium somewhere else in the region.

BIG made headlines last year when it was selected to design Google’s futuristic greenhouse-style HQ-campus in Mountain View, California. The firm is also working with the Smithsonian on a 20-year master plan for museums on the National Mall.

According to team sources, firms with experience of designing NFL stadiums were also considered, however it was BIG that won out in the end.

The Redskins have been trying to garner support from local elected officials for a new stadium location for the last 12 months; this is despite the fact that the team’s lease at FedEx Field does not expire until 2027.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has pitched the team on locations in Loudoun County along the unbuilt second leg of Metro’s Silver Line, and the team hired lobbyists from McGuire Woods to advance support for a stadium among state legislators. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) meanwhile has enquired with federal officials controlling the land beneath RFK Stadium about building a new stadium there.

According to a piece in the Washington Post, Christopher S. Dunlavey, President of the D.C.-based planning and architectural firm Brailsford & Dunlavey, which worked on Nationals Park, commented that the selection of BIG represents “a very interesting and different kind of choice” because of the firm’s “splashy work on an assortment of other projects and only recent foray into sports”.

Dunlavey added:

People involved in building stadiums are usually very reliant on the firms who have demonstrated a strong record in understanding sports sites. BIG is known very well for very innovative architecture and design, but they haven’t been known for that kind of expertise.

As reported last week, NFL owners voted to approve the NFL Rams Football Club return to Los Angeles, starting with the 2016 NFL season.

The 3.1 million-square-foot multipurpose venue — located at the site of the previous Hollywood Park Race Track — is being designed by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group. The Rams’ new home will be an iconic structure and cornerstone of the 298-acre NFL entertainment and multiuse district.

Mark Williams, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, HKS Sports and Entertainment Group, said:

From our initial conversations with Mr. Kroenke and his staff, we knew this project was going to be a very special place that will change the face of sports and entertainment venues as we know them.

The unique climate, characteristics and culture of Southern California and Los Angeles are the foundation of the stadium’s design. As a necessity for year-round events of all types, a transparent ETFE canopy covering nearly 19 acres was developed to maximise flexibility, while maintaining an outdoor feeling and taking advantage of the sites climatic conditions. The form was driven by a number of factors, including air movement, local geographic features, site elements and overall integration into the district. Under this canopy, all sides of the building remain open-air, allowing natural breezes to pass through the venue and encouraging all the public spaces to take advantage of the indoor/outdoor experiences common to the region and lifestyle of Southern Californians.

With 70,000 fixed seats and the ability to expand up to 80,000 for major events like a Super Bowl, Final Four tournaments, collegiate bowl games and award shows to smaller-scale events like high school football games, soccer matches, motosports, extreme sports, concerts and community events. The stadium will also accommodate a total capacity exceeding 100,000 patrons with standing-room-only locations throughout the venue.

The HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, ranked as one of the top sports and entertainment designers by BD World Architecture, has ushered in a new generation of multi-revenue-generating, world class facilities. The group’s portfolio includes U.S. Bank Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, and major renovations and additions for FedEx Field. These venues are known for enhancing and leveraging team brand, delivering an enhanced fan experience, and serving as destination environments. HKS is ranked among the top six architectural/engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine, and operates from 26 offices worldwide.

NFL & Tottenham Hotspur announce agreement for NFL games to be played in new stadium

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The NFL and Tottenham Hotspur have announced this week that they have reached agreement for a minimum of two games per year to be played during a 10-year partnership at the English Premier League team’s new stadium in London.

 

The state-of-the-art stadium, due to open in the summer of 2018, will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that would be used for NFL games. This innovative field will add greater flexibility in the scheduling of games, with the NFL having its own playing surface for games held at this venue. This field will be multi-use and capable of hosting other sporting, entertainment and community events.

 

Both sports will have dedicated facilities ensuring that the new stadium, designed with a focus on atmosphere, will deliver the optimum experience for both teams and fans. It will be one of the most environmentally-sustainable in the UK and also include a clear focus on accessibility via public transportation.

 

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, said:

With growing enthusiasm for the NFL in the United Kingdom, we are committed to hosting NFL games in world-class venues and are excited to partner with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their future stadium. We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community.

 

The stadium is part of the Northumberland Development Project, which sits at the heart and is the flagship scheme and catalyst for world-class regeneration in North Tottenham, that spans over 130 acres and delivers significant benefits for the local community.

 

In addition to the minimum of two games per year at the new Tottenham site, other NFL games may take place at different venues in the UK during the span of the 10-year agreement.

 

Daniel Levy, Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, said:

We have an opportunity now to deliver one of the most unique sports, leisure and entertainment venues in the world, bringing together the EPL and NFL for the first time. The socio- economic benefits this will bring to the area will be immense and demonstrates our commitment to the regeneration of this priority borough in London.

 

We have always underlined the importance of public sector support for the long-term regeneration of the area. This support is now clearly in evidence in the masterplans that have been brought forward by the London Borough of Haringey, both through the Northumberland Park project to the east of the stadium and the High Road West scheme. These plans, alongside the commitments made by the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority to infrastructure and public realm investment, and with the support of Central Government, demonstrate that there is now a collective public and private sector desire to deliver lasting change to the area.

 

This was an important factor for the NFL when they agreed to bring their hugely popular sport to Tottenham. I am delighted that we have succeeded in attracting them. We have a compelling and exciting partnership that will play its part as we begin transforming this area of Tottenham.

 

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, welcomed the agreement, “Anyone who has seen American Football at Wembley Stadium cannot fail to have been thrilled by the spectacle, and the wise heads that run the NFL have clearly not missed the fact that Londoners are going absolutely gangbusters for Gridiron.

 

“We are already working very closely with the NFL, including on plans to get more Londoners involved in the sport, and we believe that building on the success of NFL at Wembley by staging more games in an area of the city that has been earmarked for a massive programme of economic regeneration and investment makes perfect sense.

 

“Touchdowns in Tottenham can only add to our reputation as a global sporting powerhouse, and help us take another step towards our goal of having a permanent NFL franchise here in London.”

 

Claire Kober, Leader, Haringey Council, added:

It’s tremendous news that the NFL wants to come to Tottenham, joining Spurs in bolstering our borough’s reputation for world-class sport.

 

This huge vote of confidence further underlines Tottenham’s future as London’s next great destination, and shows real progress in our dedicated plan to bring economic growth to Haringey – with thousands of fans spending money in local businesses and creating new jobs for our residents.

 

In addition to bringing thousands more visitors to Tottenham, having millions of viewers from around the world tuning into live sports from the new Spurs stadium will undoubtedly put our borough on the international stage.

 

This has been a great news week for the Club, who only yesterday unveiled their updated designs and plans for the Northumberland Development Project, which will be submitted to the London Borough of Haringey in the coming weeks. The scheme includes a new Populous-designed stadium that will be the first of its kind in the world, as well as a hotel and visitor attractions.

With construction of Minnesota’s state-of-the-art, multi-use stadium more than halfway complete, the Minnesota Vikings can ‘bank’ on a substantial home field advantage every time they take the field beginning in 2016; with the stadium’s naming rights having been acquired by U.S. Bank, making the venue’s official name, U.S. Bank Stadium.

U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States, and the Minnesota Vikings announced the 20-year partnership for the exclusive naming rights of the Vikings’ new stadium today, June 16, 2015. The announcement highlights two prominent and storied Minnesota institutions coming together with a focus on strengthening the economic and social well-being of the state and surrounding communities. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

Described by the stadium architects, HKS Sports + Entertainment, as an “authentic structure influenced by its Minnesota location”, U.S. Bank Stadium exhibits a bold, progressive design and combines efficient functionality with stunning architecture.

The stadium’s transparent ETFE roof, combined with the world’s largest pivoting glass doors and an entire glass wall that overlooks the downtown Minneapolis skyline, will give users an outdoor feel in a climate-controlled environment.

As one of the most technologically-advanced stadiums in the country and boasting some of the NFL’s closest seats to the field, U.S. Bank Stadium will also provide an unprecedented game-day experience.

Richard Davis, Chairman, President and CEO of U.S. Bank, commented:

The Minnesota Vikings are a treasure for all citizens of Minnesota and our surrounding states to embrace, enjoy and enthusiastically support. As Minnesota’s hometown bank, U.S. Bank has been investing in the financial futures of individuals, families, small businesses and large enterprises for more than 150 years. Today, it is our privilege to make this new investment in the Vikings and the entire state of Minnesota. We look forward to U.S. Bank Stadium being a place that will drive economic vitality in Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as a place where friends and families will create lasting memories celebrating civic pride and the competitive accomplishments of the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings Owner/President, Mark Wilf, said:
On behalf of the entire Minnesota Vikings organization, we would like to thank Richard and the 67,000 U.S. Bank employees for their belief in, and support of, the Vikings and this new stadium and for the commitment they make in the economic and social well-being of Minnesota and its citizens every day. We are proud to partner with a storied and respected Minnesota institution to introduce both U.S. Bank Stadium and the Places to Play program, both of which will serve as assets for the entire Minnesota community.

Reinforcing both U.S. Bank’s and the Vikings commitment to youth and the community, the partners also announced a USD$1m investment into locations across the state where Minnesota children will play through the “Places to Play” program. The Places to Play program is a state-wide, grant-making initiative focused on investments in the community facilities that contribute to the quality of life including parks, playgrounds, trails and athletic facilities. For the next several years, U.S. Bank and the Vikings will make grants totaling USD$250,000 annually to improve and enhance public venues across the state of Minnesota. Communities can apply for the grants beginning in September 2015 and winners will be selected by the Places to Play advisory committee.

Davis advised:

At U.S. Bank, we believe that we are only as strong and vibrant as the communities we serve and we are deeply committed to helping Minnesotans reach their full potential financially and in their quality of life. The recreational and play spaces across the 87 counties in Minnesota are simply one example of catalysts for turning potential into promise and promise into exceptional achievement. Joining forces with the Vikings as the naming partner for U.S. Bank Stadium gives us the platform and the responsibility to make great things happen for the youth of Minnesota. We are excited for the kickoff of the Places to Play initiative, as well as the kickoff of the Vikings 2016 season. Skol, Vikings!

Wilf added:

The Vikings have never wavered in our commitment to the physical well-being of Minnesota’s children. The partnership with U.S. Bank is a natural fit as both the Vikings and U.S. Bank are strong community advocates who care about similar charitable causes throughout the state of Minnesota, particularly as it relates to children. The Places to Play initiative is the next step in that continued commitment, and we look forward to launching the program later this year.

 

Source & images courtesy: Minnesota Vikings, http://www.vikings.com/stadium/new-stadium/index.html

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Pro Football Hall of Fame master plan envisions expanded destination environment

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HKS, Inc. and Motter & Meadows Architects are designing and creating an expanded destination environment for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, USA. With the historic hall as its nucleus and a new Pro Football Hall of Fame Stadium to accommodate additional sports and entertainment events, the master plan envisions the site as a national destination and a regional asset that provides local connectivity to the Canton community.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors approved the integrated master plan back in October 2014.

Mark A. Williams, AIA, LEED AP, Chief Marketing Director for HKS Sports & Entertainment, said:

Our Hall of Fame Village design leverages a national icon and surrounds it with a destination environment that translates itself into a memory souvenir. The vision combines new and expanded facilities providing options for extended visits and gives greater opportunities for sponsorships and partners.

To accomplish its goals, the major components of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village Plan includes:

  • Hall of Fame Stadium
  • Hall of Fame Hotel
  • Center for Performance Excellence
  • Legends Landing
  • Competition Fields
  • Hall of Fame Field House

The HKS project team comprises:

  • Mark Williams, AIA, LEED AP, Principal
  • Rex Carpenter, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal
  • Kevin Suter, LEED AP, Vice President
  • David Skaggs, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Principal

The Pro Football Hall of Fame wants to complete the project prior to the NFL’s 100th anniversary in 2019. Stadium renovations would begin after the August 2015 enshrinement festivities which include the Minnesota Vikings versus the Pittsburgh Steelers game and an Aerosmith concert.

About HKS

HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, ranked as one of the top sports and entertainment designers by BD World Architecture, has ushered in a new generation of multi-revenue-generating, world-class facilities. The group’s portfolio includes Minnesota Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium and Inglewood Stadium. These venues are known for enhancing and leveraging team brand, delivering an enhanced fan experience and serving as destination environments. HKS operates from 27 worldwide offices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oakland’s ‘sport city’ project promised new investment soon

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The Coliseum City development project that is designed to keep Oakland’s professional sports teams in the city, remains in the balance but a group of investors has been given a chance to bring finance to the table.

Oakland City Council has granted a 90-day extension to the Coliseum City stadium development group of its exclusive negotiating agreement with the city. San Diego asset manager adviser Floyd Kephart, chairman of the board of Renaissance Cos., is expected to take the lead role in a newly reconstituted group, New City Development LLC.

The group is seeking an additional developer and approvals from the Raiders and NFL, the city and Alameda County before it can begin detailed planning for a new football stadium. The stadium would be the centrepiece of a development that would also include housing, retail, offices and perhaps a ballpark for the A’s.

Mayor Jean Quan said:

This is an important step forward in the work we kicked off three years ago [to keep the Raiders playing in Oakland]. There is room for all three teams in this project.

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA), the public agency that manages the O.co Coliseum and the Oracle Arena, in August voted unanimously to approve a ten-year license agreement with the Oakland A’s.  The Warriors have announced plans to move to San Francisco’s Mission Bay.

Photo credit: O.co Coliseum courtesy of Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority.