As spending on venues opening in the next 12 months drops for the second year in a row, projects on the horizon have busy architects and builders predicting a future boom. 

This coming wave of building is strengthened by a confluence of factors, led by the heightening of fans’ live sports experience expectations. Mobile adoption that the pandemic inspired in everyday life has entered sports venues, through ticketing and concessions, and the technology required to make those systems run seamlessly requires considerable and continuing tech upgrades.  

“The costs are increasing because the technology is getting so robust,” said CAA ICON President Dan Vaillant. “As we try to develop these new ways to enhance the fan experience, the costs of the buildings are going up as well.”   

Fifty-one percent of the venues in the NBA, NFL and MLB were built before 2000; only 18% of the 89 venues in those three leagues are fewer than 10 years old. “That’s a swath of the buildings that we’re targeting as potential future clients,” said CAA ICON’s Vaillant. “Those buildings are all coming up on 20 to 25 years old. Because of that, they’ve got to look at doing something.” 

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