2022 has been a big year for sports news that began with the Winter Olympics in Beijing, later saw the Los Angeles Rams overtake the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl, witnessed the Houston Astros snag their second World Series title, tracked the supposed retirement of tennis GOAT Serena Williams, and finished off not too long ago in Qatar with what many are saying was the best showcase of soccer talent the World Cup has ever seen.
All great athletes and games need great stadia and fields, and this year saw the design and proposed designs for several, from a soccer stadium in Queens to a new home for Tennessee Titans to a PGA Headquarters that has been designed to a tee.
Without further ado, here are AN’s top sports-related news stories of 2022:
In Chicago it has been a busy year in sports development news, the Chicago Bears are considering decamping from their current den at Soldier Field to relocate just northwest of Chicago.
Completed in 1924, Soldier Field is the smallest stadium in the NFL with a capacity of 61,500. An ambitious plan unveiled by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in July, proposed keeping the sports venue as an anchor for the revamp of Museum Campus, an area adjacent to Lake Michigan that comprises Chicago institutions such as the Field Museum, McCormick Place Lakeside Center, and the Shedd Aquarium. While another proposal offered up three ideas on how to use the existing stadium, should the Bears forego staying put. Among the proposals: adding a covered domed roof to the open-air venue.
While the Bears could save an estimated $1 billion by staying put, another proposal under consideration by the franchise would relocate the Bears to the site of the now-closed Arlington International Racecourse facility in northwest Chicago. Under this renovation, the existing Soldier Field would be rejigged to accommodate other sports and recreational events including soccer and concerts.
The move would construct a new stadium facility for the football team and also transform Arlington Park creating a transit-oriented, mixed-use district with housing, commercial office space, restaurants and retail, a hotel, public parkland, and more.
Texas-based comedy slash sports Youtubers and entertainment venture Dude Perfect revealed a plan for a $100 million headquarters and entertainment destination that would house a 30-story trick shot tower.
While the exact location of the complex is still very much in the air, the five dudes of Dude Perfect, Tyler “TT” Toney, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and twins Cory and Coby Cotton, confirmed they have been working with San Antonio–based architecture and urban design firm Overland Partners on the design for just over a year.
Among the proposed features are a trick shot tower, a museum about the brand, merch shops, restaurants, a mini golf course, and outdoor diversions spread across two acres of space.
With this new recreational slash office complex, the PGA of America became the first major international sports organization to be based in Texas. (It was previously located in Florida.)
The 106,600-square-foot PGA of America headquarters includes open and private workspaces for 150 employees, seminar and meeting rooms, a professional development center, communal areas including a fitness facility, an outdoor terrace, state-of-the-art indoor training center with chipping and putting areas, hitting bays with operable walls, driving range simulators, and more.
Also situated on the 600-acre site are two 18-hole courses, the Omni PGA Frisco Resort, a clubhouse and performance center, a 30-acre practice facility, and a “golf-centered entertainment” zone dubbed the PGA District. Evidently, the headquarters building is just the beginning, the remainder of the $520 million PGA Frisco campus will open next year.
In Dyersville, Iowa, the farm used as the backdrop for the 1989 film Field of Dreams added nearly 100 acres to its existing 190-acre property as part of a master plan to redevelop the site.
Under the proposed scheme the fabled site would house nine new fields for youth softball and baseball, dormitories, and a 104-room boutique hotel. While those aforementioned amenities are slated to complete in 2023, additional plans to bring a 100,000-square-foot field house, RV park, outdoor concert amphitheater, jogging trails, and a sprawling park onsite are slated to complete before 2025.
The redevelopment—the largest private investment in Dyersville history and one of the largest-ever in Dubuque County—will cost $80 million, and fear not, it will preserve much of the idyllic property, which is still a working farm.
Multidisciplinary firm RDG Planning & Design will work alongside local firms Origin Design and Conlon Construction, and Leopardo Companies to provide architectural, engineering, planning, and construction services for the master plan’s development.
In Tennessee it was a big year for stadium news, the city of Memphis alone announced renovations of four of its sports venues, but the biggest sports news to come out of the Volunteer State came from its NFL franchise the Tennessee Titans. The Titans unveiled a completely revamped 1.7-million-square-foot stadium with elements such as an enclosed roof and wraparound terraces.
The design for the proposed 60,000-seat stadium has come from Kansas City–based firm MANICA and local firm HASTINGS. It takes cues from the city of Nashville and will be designed to blend with the ongoing development of the city’s East Bank, a former industrial parcel along the Cumberland River.
The new stadium will rise on a site just east of the current venue, Nissan Stadium, a HOK Sport–designed facility that will be demolished and transformed into park space. A key element of the new design is its circular, weatherproof “translucent” roof, which will be constructed using Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE).
Just last week the stadium received backing from the Metro Council, bringing it one-yard-line closer to its planned 2026 opening.
At this year’s Super Bowl the Los Angeles Rams were victorious over the Cincinnati Bengals, earning the franchise its first Super Bowl win at its new home field, SoFi Stadium. The halftime show was a star-studded—and dare we say architectural?—affair that featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent singing and dancing through five scaled models of Compton buildings all situated atop a map of the southern L.A. County city.
Among the structures on stage were the Harold L. Williams–designed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at Compton City Hall and a section of the monolithic Compton Courthouse.
Online, viewers poked fun at the performance’s set design, joking that while California is bogged down by a housing crisis the show seemed to offer some solutions to address that.
Buffalo, New York regularly makes headlines for its winter season, the Western New York city, no stranger to record snowfall, has seen nearly 100 feet of the white stuff so far this year. This holiday weekend alone there was over four feet of it, along with utterly frigid temperatures. Recent blizzards aside, the city’s NFL franchise the Buffalo Bills made the news this fall when it revealed design plans for the construction of its new stadium. Like the Bears, the Bills have spent recent years contemplating whether to stay put and renovate their existing facility or to build a new stadium. The Bills elected to build a new stadium, designed by stadia specialists Populous, slated to be located directly across from the team’s current home at Highmark Stadium.
The plan for the new stadium calls for the demolition of the current Bills home field, which would be replaced by a parking lot that will serve the new stadium.
Surprisingly, despite its cold, snowy winters, the new stadium will again feature an open-air top. To accommodate for the lack of a cover over the arena, there will be radiant heating installed throughout the stadium.
The New York Mets are getting a new neighbor. Just last month New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that Major League Soccer team New York City Football Club (NYCFC) will relocate from its current home at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to a new soccer-specific venue across from Citi Field in the Willets Point section of Queens.
The stadium will be developed as part of a larger mixed-use development for the area that will include a 250-room hotel, retail, and 2,500 affordable housing units—the largest all-affordable housing project to be constructed in the city in the last 40 years.
The new stadium, which will seat 25,000 fans, will cost an estimated $780 million and is financed by NYCFC. Originally the soccer team, established in 2013, planned to open its new facility in 2025, ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, but that has been pushed back to 2027.
Located adjacent to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and the U.S. Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, host of the U.S. Open, it’s safe to say the formerly auto-centric neighborhood is now very sports-centric.
2022 closed off with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which saw four weeks of cutthroat soccer talent. While at times it seemed like the news of scored goals and great saves were overshadowed by banned booze and the deaths of migrant workers who constructed the stadium venues, the event has been repeatedly heralded as one of the best.
The small Middle Eastern country of Qatar invested a lot into its urban infrastructure to host the competition. Among the new buildings purpose-built for the World Cup, were several stadiums by internationally recognized firms. Lusail Stadium, which played host to the final matchup between Argentina and France, is an intricate, gold-colored vessel designed by Foster + Partners.
Stadium 974, designed by Fenwick Iribarren Architects, was constructed using 974 shipping containers—also conveniently the number of Qatar’s country dialing code. It was realized as a temporary venue and will now be taken apart and reassembled elsewhere. Other purpose-built attractions including a series of modular tents designed by Zaha Hadid Architects that will be repurposed as clinics, schools, and temporary shelters in Yemen, Turkey, and Syria.