Updated Jan 23, 2022 - Sports

Experts predict major boom for North American sports stadiums

Rendering of the $375 million Moody Center on the UT-Austin campus

Rendering of the $375 million Moody Center on the UT-Austin campus. Photo courtesy of Moody Center

Stadium and arena construction in North America will total a relatively tame $5.8 billion this year, a 12% decrease from 2021.

The big picture: What the industry lacks in construction it expects to make up for in design, with experts predicting a sports venue boom over the next half-decade, SBJ reports.

  • The pandemic has shifted fans' expectations about venue offerings (touchless experience, etc.), which require major overhauls.
  • 51% of venues across the NBA, NFL and MLB were built before 2000, so plenty of renovations (or new buildings) are on the horizon.
  • The World Cup is coming to North America in 2026, and the 17 cities vying to host matches will be upgrading their venues.
  • The NIL era has given colleges another reason to invest in their facilities as the recruiting arms race heats up.
  • MLB-mandated upgrades will drive significant spending on minor league ballpark infrastructure.

Between the lines: While 2022 will be a down year for construction on major pro venues, college construction ($2.8 billion) is poised to set a new record.

  • Texas begins play at the Moody Center in late April. At $375 million, it's the most expensive college arena ever built and will be a mainstay on the major concert circuit.
  • San Diego State plans to debut its $310 million Snapdragon Stadium in September. It's being built on the site of Qualcomm Stadium, the former home of the Chargers (1967-2016) and Padres (1969-2003).

Read the full report.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on Jan. 19.

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