Populous Projects Win Facility of the Year, Event of the Year at 2022 Sports Business Awards

May 19, 2022

Populous projects earned top honors at Sports Business Journal’s 2022 Sports Business Awards, with the iconic MLB @ Field of Dreams named Sports Event of the Year and groundbreaking Climate Pledge Arena chosen as Sports Facility of the Year.

MLB at Field of Dreams

MLB at Field of Dreams hosted a regular season matchup between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox at the ‘Field of Dreams’ movie site in Dyersville, Iowa. Populous steered the master plan of the event, connecting the original movie site and the new regulation field through a full design process, providing the feasibility study, ballpark and supporting structures design, in addition to the event services and transportation support.

Populous’ design included facilities for broadcast and press operations, sponsorship, transportation, security and ceremonies. The firm also implemented comprehensive signage plans for wayfinding as well as the overlay plans. Populous provided in-game and on-site operations staff to ensure the event ran smoothly, as it has for other large-scale events such as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

MLB at Field of Dreams was the most-watched regular season MLB game in 16 years, garnering 5.9 million viewers. A collaboration between MLB, Populous, BaAM Productions and BrightView, it was also named the 2021 Ballpark of the Year by BaseballParks.com and USA TODAY Sports.

Climate Pledge Arena

Climate Pledge Arena opened its doors in October of 2021 in Seattle, Washington, set to be the first net-zero-carbon arena in the world. Populous was engaged as Architect of Record by Oak View Group and the City of Seattle to design the 740,000-square-foot arena with three goals: to create the most sustainable arena in the world, to responsibly revitalize a historic landmark and to cultivate the ultimate fan experience.

Climate Pledge Arena’s name stems from Amazon’s naming-rights partnership, which enlists the facility in The Climate Pledge, a global initiative that commits signatories to net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040. Populous collaborated with the owners, a public-private partnership between Oak View Group, Seattle Kraken Hockey and Seattle Center, as well as project manager CAA ICON and construction partner MA Mortenson to bring the sustainable design and historic vision to life.

The Populous design enables Climate Pledge Arena to employ numerous sustainable practices and operations. Populous was challenged to maintain the preservation of the 59-year-old historic roof designed by Paul Thiry, the father of architectural modernism in the Pacific Northwest. The new construction required the 44-million-pound roof to be suspended above the site while the new arena was built underneath. In addition, the arena relies solely on renewable energy sources to power the facility. Populous designed the arena to also support water conservation systems — such as harvesting rainwater from the roof to turn it into the greenest ice in the NHL — and zero waste initiatives.  Home to the Seattle Kraken, Populous pioneered dual scoreboards that place content at optimal viewing locations for spectators, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for NHL games. These sustainable and innovative design strategies set a new bar for the global sports and events industry.

Each project was chosen from a group of selected nominees after a thorough evaluation process. Populous projects 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic and Super Bowl LVI were selected nominees in the event category, while Populous-designed TQL Stadium was a selected nominee in the facility category.


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