Project Management Institute

Team Building

U.S. Sports Franchises Are Making a Play for Real Estate Development

There's a new game in town. Sports organizations in the United States looking to boost fan engagement—and ultimately, profits—are expanding the experience around their arenas by sponsoring real estate development projects.

Professional teams have long worked with government and private sector partners to build new stadiums. However, a new wave of large-scale, mixed-use development projects surrounding team facilities is in motion. And while team owners will have to expand their risk appetites for such massive, first-of-their-kind projects, the potential payoff is alluring. A 91-acre (36.8-hectare) complex in development in Frisco, Texas, for instance, has become a huge tourism draw in the area.

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THE STAR

Location: Frisco, Texas

The team: Dallas Cowboys, professional American football team The US$1.5 billion complex, which partly opened in 2016, acts as the team's headquarters and includes a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that serves as the Cowboys' practice field in addition to hosting local high school football games. But the development, called The Star, offers much more than sports: It has boutique shops, more than 20 restaurants, a hotel and a medical facility. There's more to come, too, with the team's ownership building a new 160-unit high-rise apartment building that broke ground last year.

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MISSION ROCK

Location: San Francisco, California

The team: San Francisco Giants, professional baseball team

The San Francisco Giants expect to break ground later this year on a development near its baseball stadium on a 28-acre (11.3-hectare) site currently used for parking. The proposed project, a partnership with developer Tishman Speyer, will incorporate 1,400 housing units, up to 1.4 million square feet (130,064 square meters) of office space and 250,000 square feet (23,226 square meters) of retail and manufacturing space.

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TITLETOWN

Location: Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin

The team: Green Bay Packers, professional American football team

Titletown is getting built right next to Lambeau Field, one of the most iconic sports destinations in the U.S. The first phase of construction included restaurants, a brewpub, a snowtubing hill, parks and athletic fields for the public. The second construction phase, which started earlier this year, will include roughly 220 residences, an office building and approximately 100,000 square feet (9,290 square meters) allocated for future development.

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