NBA 2K League Broadcast Arena

Indianapolis, United States
After four years of online play and remote production, the NBA 2K League decided to take its fifth season live with in-person competition. The NBA 2K League, a joint venture between the NBA and the Take-Two Interactive, is a professional esports league featuring the best NBA 2K players in the world — the first esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.

To accommodate this in-person season, Populous teamed up with NBA 2K to deliver a 30,000-square-foot arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, suitable for the game, players, fans and broadcasting. The arena boasts a 500-seated spectator capacity, which serves as the backdrop for live broadcasts on Twitch of 3v3 and 5v5 matches.

Populous created a unique design that pays homage to the urban communities of New York, fashion, streetwear, music and pop culture. The rectangular layout of the venue includes two circular competition stages that mimic the shape of a cassette tape and create two equally-sized main stages, allowing for games to be played simultaneously.

To bolster the excitement in the space, the arena includes several big screens and utilizes LEDs to feature the players, literally shining the spotlight on them. In addition to two LED-heavy stages, the venue includes an LED-fueled tunnel and walkway up to the stages, creating an epic entrance for the players with a dramatic introduction from the shoutcasters who are located on top of the tunnel.

The design and placement of the broadcast booths were chosen strategically to offer optimal broadcast angles. The arena also features several production rooms, team spaces for practice and remote gameplay as well as VIP and retail spaces.

Populous embraced the emotion of it all and brought to life our league’s vision.

Matt Arden

Head of Content & Media, NBA 2K League

The space and broadcast capabilities support the NBA 2K in capturing the energy of the league. Their players are dynamic and funny, and the league embraces a street ball mentality. This energy explodes during epic moments within the arena and keeps fans embedded in every moment of competition.

Populous brought the NBA 2K League’s vision to life by creating a state-of-the-art arena suitable for competition, players and fans while simultaneously ensuring that the league stands at the forefront of every design, issue and conversation.

The intimate arena environment keeps fans close and engaged with players and the league, fostering a palpable energy harnessed throughout the arena, which provides a unique and lively experience for fans attending matches both in-person and through the online broadcast.

7 items.
  • Marvin Mastin Associate Principal, Brand Activation Manager Kansas City
  • Brian Mirakian Senior Principal, Director of Esports Kansas City
  • Thomas Jones Associate Principal, Architect Kansas City
  • Daniel Wood Principal, Senior Architect Dallas
  • Jenny O’Grady Associate, Graphic Designer II Kansas City
  • Francisco Besa Principal, Senior Graphic Designer Kansas City
  • Jordon VanderWerf Associate, Multi Media Video Production Designer Dallas

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