Populous Founder Ron Labinski to Receive Stadium Managers Association Lifetime Achievement Award
Stadium Managers Association (SMA) will honor Populous founder Ron Labinski, FAIA, with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual seminar Wednesday. SMA has chosen Labinski for his contributions to the sports business industry and his many innovations in design, revenue generation and fan experience.
Labinski is considered the forefather of the sports architecture industry, beginning as the project architect for Arrowhead Stadium at the Truman Sports Complex in 1968. That project was largely credited as the turning point for modern sports architecture, and Labinski capitalized on a market need for fan- and revenue-based, single-sport stadiums across the world. He co-founded Populous (formerly HOK Sport) in 1983 as the world’s first architecture firm focused solely on sport venue design. In more than 27 years, the firm has grown to one of the world’s largest and most prestigious architecture firms, having amassed more than 1,000 projects worth $20 billion in construction value.
With a career spanning more than 40 years, Labinski introduced myriad revolutionary concepts to the sports business market. Because he studied and understood the business model of sport judiciously, he developed the concept of club seating in the 1970s – a concept now standard in sports facility design. He also authored several patents for futuristic stadium concepts.
“From Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to Hong Kong Stadium in China, more than a hundred cities’ landscapes have been forever transformed for the better by Ron’s innovative designs,” said Earl Santee, Populous senior principal. “Ron had the vision three decades ago to create a focused architecture firm, and along the way, he created a work-hard, play-hard culture. He started the traditions of our firm, but he also instilled in us a strong sense of creating architecture that connects with people. He wasn’t just the founder of our firm – he was the founder of our brand and all that we stand for and that our clients have come to expect.”
Labinski retired from Populous in 2000 but remains active in the world of sports business. He is a member of the Kansas City Sports Commission Executive Committee and served as co-chairman of the Kansas City Mayor’s Task Force for the development of Sprint Center. In 2010, Labinski was also honored by Sports Business Journal as one of the inaugural class of Champion of Sports Business.
For further information please contact:
Gina Stingley at Populous
Telephone: 816 221 1500