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NEWS UPDATE


HOK signs stadium development deal with United Soccer League


HOK has signed a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with North America- based United Soccer League (USL). The deal will see the global architects create a stadium development, design and standards programme, supporting the league’s strategic initiative to house all USL clubs in soccer-specific stadiums across US and Canada by 2020. As the league’s official stadium design


partner, HOK will apply its venue design expertise to guide soccer-specific stadium development for expansion clubs and the renovation of current USL stadiums to increase capacities and amenities. HOK will also consult to the league and its clubs on maximising venue revenue, developing ancillary programming and creating operational efficiencies. USL President Jake Edwards said: “The


partnership with HOK provides the league and its clubs a tremendous partner with extensive stadium design and development experience at the highest level. A critical part of our strategic growth plan is to have all USL clubs as owners or primary tenants of soccer- specific stadiums by 2020.” The deal has been enabled by HOK’s December 2014 acquisition of US-based 360 Architecture, a leading designer of stadiums and sports venues. The takeover of 360 resulted in the creation


One of the USL clubs likely to benefit from the HOK tie-up is Charlotte Independence, which currently plays its games at the 21,000-seat American Legion Memorial Stadium in North Carolina


of HOK’s new Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice. Brad Schrock, director of HOK Sports + Recreation + Entertainment, said: “We are passionate about soccer and excited to be a partner to the USL as the league continues to grow. This initiative will provide the framework to ensure that venues are successful for the team, the players, the fans and their communities.” HOK’s current and recent projects include the recently opened Avaya Stadium for Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes and a newly designed multipurpose stadium in Atlanta, which will be home to an MLS expansion franchise and the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons. Read more: http://lei.sr?a=J8R8D


HOK back in sports


HOK returned to sports facility design this year for the first time since 2008, after completing a deal to acquire Kansas City, US-based sports architects 360 Architecture. The deal is part of HOK’s strategy to expand its footprint in the sports sector and forms a central part of HOK’s new Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice. HOK’s previous sports arm – HOK


Sport Venue Event – became Populous in 2008 following a management buy out. A non-compete agreement meant HOK hasn’t worked in sports architecture for more than five years.


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