Ed and Lisa Mitzen, co-founders of Business for Good
Ed and Lisa Mitzen, co-founders of Business for Good

Albany’s New MLS NEXT Pro stadium to transform downtown with Populous hired for design

Albany is set for a game-changing development as global design firm Populous has been hired to design a new MLS NEXT Pro stadium.
Words by
27 June, 2024
2 mins read

Ed and Lisa Mitzen, co-founders of Business for Good, alongside investors Jeff Buell, Chris Spraragen, and professional soccer coach Steve Freeman, revealed that Populous will develop the masterplan and stadium design for Albany’s new sports-anchored mixed-use development.

Ranked among Fast Company’s 2022 Most Innovative Companies , Populous is renowned for creating iconic spaces for some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment.

We are thrilled to name Populous as our design partner for the new stadium, which will be a key part of Albany’s local revitalization effort. They have demonstrated a proven track record to transform neighborhoods, revitalize cities, build relationships, and connect people to being part of something bigger,” said Ed Mitzen. “By having them lead the design efforts for the South End redevelopment project, our community can take comfort in having one of the best architecture firms in the world helping us reimagine what Liberty Park can be.”

Jeff Buell, one of the real estate principals, added, “From Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in New York to the Las Vegas Sphere, Populous is a no-doubt-about-it design group. This group understands that we are trying to create so much more than an event venue. We are creating a new neighborhood, and with that comes the responsibility of doing it right.”

Other projects Populous have been engaged or work on:

Economic and community growth

The proposed stadium will feature 8,000 seats, expandable to 12,000 for non-sporting events, positioning it as a major cultural asset for Albany. Strategically located in the heart of downtown, the stadium is expected to draw visitors from near and far, generating substantial revenue for local businesses through increased spending on tickets, food, accommodation, and transportation.

“Downtown Albany deserves a vibrant mixed-use destination to call its own,” said Jonathan Mallie, senior principal and global director at Populous. “The new sports-anchored mixed-use development project is an opportunity to activate the district with live events, a park-like setting, and surrounding mixed-use development that helps bolster the community of Albany and provides year-round entertainment for its people to enjoy.”

The stadium’s presence is anticipated to spark a wave of new investments in residential, commercial, and recreational developments, transforming neglected areas into thriving communities. This project aims to address some of Albany’s longstanding challenges by revitalizing the South End and creating a dynamic urban space that fosters community engagement and economic growth.

Vision for the future

Populous brings a wealth of experience to the project, having designed more than 3,200 projects worth over $60 billion across various markets over the past 40 years. Their comprehensive services encompass architecture, interior design, event planning, urban design, landscape architecture, and more. With over 1,400 employees in 29 global offices, Populous is well-equipped to deliver a world-class stadium that will serve as a cornerstone for Albany’s revitalization.

Business for Good, the organization behind this transformative project, was formed in 2020 with a mission to advance equity, access, opportunity, and prosperity. Recognized nationally for its impactful efforts, BFG continues to invest in long-term community development, making significant strides in the Greater Capital Region and beyond.

For more information about Populous and their groundbreaking projects, visit Populous. To learn more about Business for Good and their community-focused initiatives, visit Business for Good.

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David Ryckman

David is a regular contributor and sub-editor for Who Design Today. He is a Managing Partner at Kwibb and has a keen eye for design and branding.

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