Bills break ground, A’s plan move and Jags drop renderings: latest in stadium construction news
Some pro sports franchises are barreling ahead with plans for new venues, while others are reconsidering the right real estate for their future facilities.
Courtesy of Oakland Athletics
This week the Buffalo Bills broke ground on the New Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. Down south in Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled plans for a new stadium renovation. Here are recent new developments on those major stadium projects and others around the U.S.
Project: New stadium
Cost: $2.1 billion
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Rather than renovate 24-year-old Nissan Stadium, the NFL’s Tennessee Titans are moving forward with plans for a new, $2.1 billion enclosed stadium along the east bank of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. That price tag would make it among the most expensive stadiums ever built.
The project deal, approved by the Nashville city council in April, is the largest in the city’s history, and includes at least $1.26 billion in public funding, according to the Tennessean, which would make it the largest public subsidy for a stadium in U.S. history.
Project plans indicate the final project will be a 60,000-seat, 1.7 million-square-foot venue on 15 acres of city-owned land, surrounded by a 20-acre campus dubbed “Stadium Village,” the Tennessean reported. The plans include 5,000 fewer parking spots than currently available at Nissan Stadium.
No general contractor has been announced, but the franchise has tapped Atlanta-based TVS to serve as architect of record, a move approved by the Metropolitan Sports Authority at a May 18 board meeting. TVS will work in tandem with design architect MANICA to lead through the design process — TVS is responsible for delivering construction documents and will hold contracts with subs to complete the design.
Project: Relocation, new stadium
Cost: $1.5 billion
Location: Las Vegas
The Oakland Athletics are gambling on a move to Las Vegas, signing an agreement to purchase 49 acres of land near the Strip with the intent of building a $1.5 billion, 35,000-seat Major League Baseball park. The team released renderings of the stadium in late May.
The move would end a long struggle to keep the team in its home city of Oakland, where it has played since 1968.
Clark County leaders and the A’s reached a tentative agreement on a stadium funding package late last month, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The agreement includes as much as $380 million in public funding.
But the move still isn’t finalized: MLB team owners must vote to approve the relocation. That could come as soon as the mid-June owners meeting in New York, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has expressed support for the relocation.
Project: New Highmark Stadium
Cost: $1.4 billion
Location: Orchard Park, New York
On Monday, stakeholders turned dirt on the Buffalo Bills new stadium, a $1.4 billion project to be constructed by a Gilbane-Turner joint venture. According to the NFL franchise, the project is the largest ever built in western New York. The canopy-covered stadium will have seats to accommodate 63,000 fans.
At the groundbreaking event, Terry Pegula, owner and CEO of the team, announced the franchise had finalized a new naming rights deal with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to continue its partnership.
Highmark Stadium is the name of the existing Bills stadium — previously Ralph Wilson Stadium — so the project will be referred to as “New Highmark Stadium” until construction is finished in 2026, in time for the season to begin in September of that year.
Financing for the stadium will come from multiple sources: The Bills and the NFL will provide $550 million, Erie County $250 million and New York state $600 million. Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous designed the stadium.
Providence, Rhode Island-based Gilbane and New York City-based Turner have built 5.5 million square feet together over 25 years of collaboration. Combined, the contractors have built or renovated 16 NFL stadiums.
Project: Stadium renovation
Cost: $1 billion
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
The Jacksonville Jaguars released renderings Wednesday for their stadium project, renovating TIAA Bank Field and developing the area around it.
Team owner Shad Khan said in the announcement the process began in 2016, with team execs and city leaders discussing the pros and cons of renovating the existing stadium or building a new one. Ultimately, it landed on updates to the current venue — which Florida Politics.com reported could cost from $875 million to $1.03 billion.
The franchise has tapped St. Louis, Missouri-based HOK for the design and AECOM Hunt and Barton Malow as preconstruction manager.
Work will include widening the concourse to four times its current size, adding 220 new food and beverage points of sale and altering the stadium’s capacity to 62,000, or 71,500 for special events — the stadium currently can hold around 68,000.
New York City FC
Project: New stadium
Cost: $780 million
Location: Queens, New York
New York City Football Club, which currently plays its home matches at Yankee Stadium, has tapped Turner Construction to build its $780 million stadium, with design from HOK. The Major League Soccer team says it will become the first soccer-specific venue in the city. NYC FC hopes to finish construction in time for the 2027 season.
The 25,000-seat stadium between LaGuardia Airport and Flushing in Queens will be the anchor for a larger development from Queens Development Group, a joint venture from Related Cos. and Great Neck and Sterling Equities, all based in New York City. That development will include 2,500 units of affordable housing, a public school for 650 students and a hotel.
Project: Potential new stadium
Cost: To be determined
Location: Arlington Heights, Chicago
The Chicago Bears have sought alternatives to playing at Soldier Field, the NFL team’s home stadium since 1971. In February, the franchise dropped $197.2 million on 326 acres in Arlington Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, ESPN reported.
Even at the time of purchase, the Bears stated that the new acreage did not guarantee development of a potential domed stadium on the property, according to ESPN. Now, it seems, the Bears are even more keen on playing the field.
In a statement to NBC Chicago, the team said the Arlington Heights land “is no longer our singular focus,” despite continuing to consider it.
“The Chicago Bears’ goal of building the largest single development project in Illinois history led by billions of dollars in private capital investment, and the jobs and economic benefits generated, is at risk in Arlington Heights,” the statement reads.
It goes on to describe the land as “not commercially viable in its current state,” and that it will “listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations.”
This article was originally written by Zachary Phillips and appeared here.