Along with new, high-tech stadiums and arenas, sports and entertainment districts are becoming the norm in both large metropolitan areas and smaller destinations.

These developments with mixed-use space allow meetings and conventions groups to feed off the energy of a big sporting event without actually attending a game, or even being inside the sports facility.

Here are three new U.S. sports and entertainment developments that are changing the landscape for their cities and neighborhoods as well as giving planners a variety of venues for meetings and events—sports related or not.

1. AT&T Stadium and Texas Live!, Arlington, Texas

In 2009, the new, $1.5 billion AT&T Stadium, home of NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, opened in Arlington, Texas, and started a wave of developments in the area.

Texas Live!, is a new $250 million mixed-use development and entertainment district that includes Live! by Loews–Arlington, TX, which opened in August 2019, and the new MLB Rangers ballpark Globe Life Field, set to open in 2020, as well as multiple dining and entertainment venues and convention facilities.

“Texas Live! was designed with the Texas Rangers, City of Arlington and The Cordish Companies to be where groups can really enjoy the Arlington Entertainment District,” said Jim Watry, COO of Texas Live!  “We like to say we're the heart of the Arlington Entertainment District and our doors are open to come and see us when you come to North Texas. It's really transformed the experience of Arlington and will continue as the district expands.”

Texas Live! features 200,000 square feet of dining and entertainment space that can be used for private events, including:

  • Live! Arena: A more than 35,000-square-foot multi-level venue, that provides fans with sports viewing experiences.
  • Arlington Backyard: A 5,000-person outdoor event pavilion able to host cultural activities, art shows, concerts and community events.
  • PBR Country Bar: The flagship PBR bar at Texas Live! is the largest PBR venue in the country, bringing an authentic country experience to the city. The venue has capacity for over 1,500 people and features a 7,000-square-foot balcony overlooking Arlington Backyard.
  • Troy’s: A concept by former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman, this space offers an outdoor patio space centered around a live oak tree and an indoor/outdoor stage in the middle that welcomes live music seven days a week. Additionally, Troy’s features a major LED display for a sports viewing experience.

“We've had many groups rent out the entire space to create their own branded event—both indoors and out—with music, food and entertainment all in one,” Watry said.

“Then we have venue buyouts where we can create the experience they need for a memorable event,” Watry continued. “[The Sports & Social, a two-level, 30,000-square-foot dining and entertainment venue] includes games such as bowling, Skee-Ball, golf, pinball and basketball. The Arlington Backyard gives planners an opportunity to design an outdoor concept where real teambuilding, fun and games happen. However, each venue can be developed to understand the goal of the group to add the element they need for an event that is as big as Texas!”

Live! by Loews–Arlington, TX features 302 guest rooms and a 35,000-square-foot Grand Event Center. The property’s meeting and event space offers indoor and outdoor options, including the 14,194-square-foot Arlington Ballroom and an Event Lawn.

2. SoFi Stadium & Hollywood Park, Los Angeles

The SoFi Stadium and the Entertainment District at Hollywood Park is a 298-acre sports and entertainment destination currently under construction, anchored by a 70,000-seat, open-air stadium expandable up to 100,000 seats.

The stadium will be home to the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers after it opens in 2020. In addition to sporting events, the stadium and surrounding neighborhood will feature concerts, shows and other entertainment as well as supply function space for private events.

Photo: SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. Credit: SoFi Stadium

Located in Inglewood, a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, SoFi Stadium has already secured Super Bowl LVI in 2022 and the College Football National Championship game in 2023. The new stadium will also co-host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic Games with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The development, which sits on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack, will also include a 2.5-acre open-air plaza, American Airlines Plaza, and a 6,000-seat performance venue. Hollywood Park will feature more than 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space, 2,500 residences, a hotel and more than 20 acres of parks. The first phase of the development for the district is scheduled to open by Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.

Groups will be able to not only use the stadium for private events, which will feature 260 luxury suites, but also its outdoor spaces, restaurants and venues for offsite experiences.