His career has taken him across America, but sports architect Dan Meis is far from the proverbial journeyman. His diverse resume of geographical experience spans not only the U.S. but other countries, bolstering, rather than undermining, his value.
As Design Principal at Ellerbe Becket, Meis has curated a global portfolio that includes the design of Europe’s largest indoor arena (Manchester Arena) and Japan’s most recognizable venue (Saitama Super Arena). Additionally, he was the co-founding design partner for NBBJ Sports & Entertainment, for whom he designed venues in Milwaukee, Seattle, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and, locally, STAPLES Center.
With concern over the aesthetic of his work, the experience they provide, and his client’s bottom line, Meis garnered a reputation worthy of titles. In 2001 he appeared in Time magazine as one of the “100 Innovators in the World of Sports” and is the only architect to twice appear in Sports Business Journal’s “40 under 40 Most Influential Sports Executives.”
As the television rights for broadcasting sports continue to skyrocket, Meis recognizes the changes being brought about by digital media and their effect on the in-venue experience. “People want the unique experience of being at the arena and at the game more than seeing the game itself,” he says, “because [the comparatively passive viewing experience] is available to them at home.”
Meis’ current endeavor is Sports City Stadium, one of the venues that will host soccer matches when the FIFA World Cup heads to Qatar in 2022. Here’s hoping he’s working on a way to make the distinct blare of vuvuzelas more pleasing in person than over the airwaves.