Geoff Cheong Selected to Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2022

April 20, 2022

Populous senior principal and architect Geoff Cheong has been selected to Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2022. The award recognizes talented and accomplished individuals who have made significant contributions within the sports industry. Cheong was recognized for his groundbreaking impact on venues across the country, including his most recent work as lead designer of Climate Pledge Arena, set to be the world’s first net-zero carbon arena.

Cheong’s diverse portfolio spans multiple markets and includes venues designed for teams in MLB, MLS, the NFL, the NHL and live events. Over the last 14 years, Geoff has led the design of global sports and entertainment projects totaling more than $1.86 billion in construction value, including Climate Pledge Arena, Centre Videotron and T-Mobile Arena. He has also contributed to notable projects including Marlins Park and the Super Bowl during his time at Populous.

“Geoff represents the direction of our practice: drawing people together in innovative, creative and authentic ways through design,” said Bruce Miller, Managing Director for the Americas at Populous. “His work has pushed our industry forward, creating venues that serve their communities and redefine the future of sports venue design. This honor is well-deserved.”

With the design of Climate Pledge Arena, Cheong and the Populous team aligned with the vision of Oak View Group and Amazon to create the most sustainable arena in the world. Set to be the first net zero carbon arena in the world, Climate Pledge Arena situates an industry-leading venue authentically in an urban neighborhood, revitalizing a historic landmark and cultivating the ultimate experience for fans.

Visitors to the new Climate Pledge Arena are greeted with a first-of-its kind video experience, which Cheong pioneered. After a thorough analysis of on-ice and on-court action for both hockey and basketball, spectator and athlete sightlines and flexibility for other events, Cheong designed the first and only dual-suspended videoboards for a professional indoor arena. This true innovation in arena design features a pair of distinctly-shaped video displays that place content at an ideal location for spectators, improving the overall experience and enhancing the connection between fans on opposite sides of the seating bowl. As the first of its kind for any NHL facility, Cheong worked with the league to conduct analysis to resolve placement of other league-mandated technology surrounding these displays, and led discussions with the arena’s video and game presentation executives in envisioning and planning immersive digital experiences for Seattle Kraken NHL games.

Cheong is the fourth Populous member to be selected to the Sports Business Journal (SBJ) Forty Under 40, joining senior principal Scott Radecic (2001), senior principal and managing director Bruce Miller (2003) and principal Gabe Braselton (2020). Senior associate and architect Megan Rand was named to SBJ’s inaugural class of 30 New Voices Under 30 in 2020.


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