Sports Construction Goes Through Economic Uncertainty | Sports

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) – The massive grandstand at Arlington International Racecourse casts an eerie shadow as the sun sets on a weekday evening. It sits dormant on a tract of land that could be transformed substantially.

With the galloping horses long gone, the Chicago Bears see 326 acres of opportunity. Even the Buffalo Bills are planning a new home. Same for baseball’s Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Royals. Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami is working on its new headquarters, and so on.

When it comes to sports construction, today’s economic uncertainty is nothing compared to tomorrow’s lucrative promise. Interest rates, inflation and supply chain issues are affecting the plans, according to construction and financing experts, but they haven’t been in the way.

“The best time to build is now, not two years from now,” said Dan Wacker, director of preconstruction for Mortenson’s sports and entertainment division, who counts US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and the US Bank Stadium among his recent major projects. ‘Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. . “If you can make it happen.”

The key to any development is understanding what the market can take when it comes to spending, which already factors in for inflation — “a manageable risk factor,” according to Scott Zolke, a lawyer with extensive sports experience who represents the Bills in stadium talks.

“One of the things that we ran out of in our Buffalo analysis was ‘What if?’” he said.

“What about inflation? What if we go into a recession? What if… the supply chain is completely turned upside down?” Zolke added. “You look at the best, worst and average scenarios, you make your own comparisons… and then you say, is it worth it?”

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