Stadiums Add Ambiance To Neighborhoods

Placemaking’s New Tool Is a Game

It can take decades for a neighborhood to change. Build a sports arena, and a shift in mood occurs within just a few years. Cutting-edge stadiums are popping up across the U.S., as private investment for these traditionally publicly funded projects increases.

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“This trend compels the private sector participants to seek diversified revenue streams and mixed-use concepts to build a sustainable underwriting model,” said Enoch Lawrence, co-head of Cushman & Wakefield’s Sports & Entertainment Advisory Group.

The SoFi Stadium underway in Inglewood, Calif., features retail, residential, office and hospitality components. Rendering courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park

Today’s stadium lures visitors not just with sports and entertainment but with amenities. “With the appropriate integration of transit, they become places where experiences can be shared across a wide range of economic diversity,” said Jonathan Emmett, principal and design director of the Gensler Sports practice.

The highly anticipated new home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, SoFi Stadium, will anchor the $5 billion Hollywood Park mixed-use development, which will ultimately deliver approximately 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space, 2,500 residences, a hotel and 20 acres of parks to the underserved community of Inglewood, Calif. The arena itself will feature a 11,500 square-foot activation zone sponsored by Pechanga Resort Casino and a 37,000-square-foot activation space courtesy of digital personal finance company SoFi.  

In Minneapolis, the 4,100-square-foot Brew Hall and 2.6 acres of outdoor gathering space at the $250 million Allianz Life-sponsored Allianz Field—which opened as the home of MLS’ Minneapolis United FC in St. Paul, Minn., in 2019—is helping to revitalize the city’s Midway neighborhood.

“The key to success is to assemble the right combination of uses and building types to ensure a constant level of activity,” Emmett added. “Dependency on visitors for events needs to be supplemented with activity and vibrancy from the surrounding community and local residents.”


Sector Insights rotates among market rate/luxury housing, workforce housing, low-income housing, student housing, senior housing and mixed-use.

Read the April 2020 issue of MHN.