The United Soccer League (USL) will partner with design firm HOK on a stadium development, design and standards initiative supporting the league’s strategic initiative to house all USL clubs in soccer-specific stadiums by the end of the decade.
“The groundbreaking partnership with HOK provides the league and its clubs a tremendous partner with extensive stadium design and development experience at the highest level,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “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. Not only will these new and upgraded stadiums add value to the league and each club ownership group, they will establish a permanent base for the clubs within their local communities. These venues will serve as cultural hubs and bring fans together in support of the clubs while offering state-of-the-art amenities and an unparalleled game-day experience.”
The HOK/USL stadium partnership calls for HOK to 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 maximizing venue revenue, developing ancillary programming and creating operational efficiencies.
HOK’s December 2014 acquisition of 360 Architecture, a designer of sports venues and facilities, enabled the firm to integrate design leadership and expertise that complements its international, multi-disciplinary practice. HOK’s new Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice is the design of stadiums, ballparks, arenas, training facilities, recreation centers, and mixed-used entertainment districts.
“This partnership reflects the USL’s commitment to expanding the soccer community across the country and providing fans a high-quality event experience that captures the energy and excitement of the game,” said Brad Schrock, HOK’s director of Sports + Recreation + Entertainment. “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.”
Image by Christy Radecic.