Kansas City Is Already in the Big Game, Even if the Chiefs Are Not

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Including Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Kansas City-based design firms have had a major impact on the design, engineering and technology in venues hosting the past 10 NFL championship games, KC Global Design announces.

Photo courtesy of HOK.

The exterior of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, which will host the Patriots - Rams matchup on Feb. 3, 2019.

“Many of the world’s most iconic stadiums, ballparks and arenas were the product of designers and firms based in Kansas City,” says Bill Johnson, design principal for HOK - Kansas City.

The Kansas City Chiefs earned the top seed in the AFC Conference and nearly snuck by the New England Patriots dynasty for a spot in the NFL’s biggest game. While they will not be vying for the title, Kansas City-based architecture, engineering and technology firms are playing an instrumental role – and have “been in the game” for a decade.

From 2009 to 2019, Kansas City-based design firms have boasted more than 30 projects encompassing the design, engineering, technology and event operations of venues that have hosted the annual NFL championship game. This year, two firms have made a big impact at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The venue, with its signature oculus roof, was designed by Bill Johnson, design principal for HOK’s Kansas City practice.

“Many of the world’s most iconic stadiums, ballparks and arenas were the product of designers and firms based in Kansas City,” says Johnson, of HOK. “As we turn our attention to the big game, it’s a reminder that the work we do as sports facility designers impacts and influences hundreds of millions, shaping fan expectations of the live-event experience and benefiting communities with these lasting civic assets.”

Dimensional Innovations, an Overland Park, Kan.-based experience design firm, was hired by the stadium management team to oversee and implement all sponsorship activity within Mercedes-Benz Stadium and leverage those sponsorships to create a memorable game-day and event experience.

“Mercedes-Benz Stadium was the first to recognize the importance of marrying sponsorships with fan experience, by creating a truly fan-first mentality around game days,” says Justin Wood, principal and sports practice director for Dimensional Innovations. “The ability to tailor experiences and hand-select brands to complement the stadium initiatives has delivered results far beyond expectations. We’re excited to share this with NFL fans around the world.”

From technology to telecom, architecture to engineering, fan experience to host-city hospitality, Kansas City firms are everywhere:

DLR Group: Design and engineering services for solar arrays at three venues
Henderson Engineers: Building systems, technology, engineering & design at four venues
HOK: Architecture and design at four venues
HNTB: Architecture and design at two venues
Black & Veatch: Technology at one venue
Dimensional Innovations: Fan experience and design at four venues

“The big game is just a fraction of the global impact KC-based firms have on sports venues,” says Tom O’Grady, corporate president, HNTB. “If you’re an owner of a stadium, arena or ballpark anywhere in the world, you come to KC to create a world-class venue and fan experience.”

“New and renovated sports venues are tremendous undertakings with wonderful impacts on the community and direct and indirect financial investments of great significance,” says Tim Cowden, president of the KC Area Development Council. “With the concentration of expertise in the Kansas City region, it absolutely makes sense for professionals and suppliers interested in being part of these projects to have a major presence in Kansas City.”

About KC Global Design
KC Global Design, a team of Kansas City-based design, architecture, engineering and technology firms, and civic and business leaders, promotes the Kansas City area’s impact on the global, ‘built’ environment. Throughout 2019, KC Global Design will release news updates across a variety of design-related topics. http://www.kcglobaldesign.com.

About KC Area Development Council
The Kansas City Area Development Council serves the 18-county, two-state Kansas City area by marketing the region’s business and lifestyle assets to companies around the world. Working closely with its 50-plus state, county and community partners, the region has attracted more than 60,000 new jobs over its 40-year history. KCADC also leads the efforts behind KC SmartPort, the KC Animal Health Corridor and TeamKC. http://www.thinkkc.com.

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Dan Gunderman
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