March 24, 2024

Beyond the Field: How Mixed-Use Development Boosts Sports Venues

As cities evolve, the integration of mixed-use projects around sports venues has evolved alongside them, marking the beginning of a transformative era in urban development. Gone are the days when stadiums or arenas stood alone. These venues have now blossomed into vibrant urban ecosystems, incorporating a diverse range of amenities like hotels, bars, retail outlets, entertainment venues, and residential developments. This trend not only transforms urban landscapes but has also provides huge economic advantages for local communities and stakeholders. 

mixed-use development

Building a Community

No longer solely a historic ballpark, Wrigley Field has become the focal point of a vibrant mixed-use development known as the 1060 Project. The project was conceptualized to ensure the viability of the game for future generations and to enrich the surrounding community. Women and minorities comprised nearly half of project's workforce, and minority and female-owned businesses won $90M in construction projects towards its completion. The area now includes a mixed-use office tower and open-air plaza, which serves as a community space for activities like ice skating and concerts. Wrigley Field has also built and added a connecting sportsbook to enhance the fan experience. Through strategic urban planning and innovative partnerships, the Cubs have successfully transformed Wrigley Field into a year-round hub of activity, setting a standard for sports venue integration in the modern era.

mixed-use development

Economic Benefits

Mixed-use developments surrounding sports venues offer a great number of economic advantages. By diversifying income streams, these multi-use projects provide stability to sports franchise cities, lessening the reliance on seasonal events and game days. Traditional game-day revenues like parking, ticket sales, and concessions are starting to get a smaller share of overall revenue. Anchoring investment in surrounding areas will generate more revenue outside of the sports franchise. 

The city of Inglewood, once on the brink of bankruptcy, saw this best with its development of Hollywood Park. This $5B project, spearheaded by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, encompasses not only the iconic SoFi Stadium, home to both the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, but also an extensive retail and entertainment district, luxury residential units, and multiple hotels. The stadium alone boasts a seating capacity of 70,000 and is equipped with cutting-edge amenities, making it a premier venue for sporting events, concerts, and other entertainment spectacles. The Hollywood Park project has been a game-changer for Inglewood's economy, bringing in significant investment, job opportunities, and tourism revenue. It's estimated that the development has created thousands of jobs during construction and will continue to support numerous permanent jobs once fully operational.

mixed-use development

Elevated Fan Experience

In 2017, the Atlanta Braves made a significant move to Truist Park, accompanied by the construction of The Battery Atlanta—a 2.25 million square foot mixed-use development. This complex features a plethora of amenities including restaurants, hotels, shopping outlets, 531 residences, and various entertainment options. Visitors can also indulge in cinematic experiences, social and virtual gaming, and live music performances at venues like the Coca-Cola Roxy and Park Bench Battery, ensuring year-round revenue generation. The Braves also partnered with The Omni Hotel to attract travelers during baseball season. While relaxing by the pool, Omni guests can watch the game from the pool deck. Omni CFO Mike Garcia calls the partnership a way for guests to feel like they are “a part of the Braves organization.” His sentiment has been felt across the Battery Atlanta: from 2017 to 2019, the Braves saw a 69% increase in revenue.

As the trend of mixed-use developments anchored around sports venues continues to gain momentum, the future holds exciting possibilities for urban development and community engagement. Looking ahead, we can expect to see a continued trend towards creating venue districts that cater to a wide range of interests. From soccer stadiums to basketball arenas, teams across all sports will likely prioritize the incorporation of mixed-use developments to enhance fan experiences and drive economic growth.



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