We’ve been taking a look at potential architects and designers for the upcoming new Calgary Flames arena over the past while. We’ve hit most of the heavy hitters in the stadium and arena design world, but there are a few up-and-comers to keep an eye on.


Originally known by its more clunky name of Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff, HNTB has traditionally been more involved in large-scale civil engineering projects such as airports, bridges, tunnels and other transportation projects and has only really gotten involved in sporting facility design in a major way over the last while. They’re the designer for Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and the upcoming Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, as well as co-designer of Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.

They don’t have the track record that other designers do in the sporting realm, but Levi’s Stadium has drawn rave reviews for the connectivity and integration of technology, while Fiserv Forum has been similarly well-received.


Their main project is still a work in progress, but MANICA is hanging their hat on the Chase Center in downtown San Francisco. The future home – as in October – of the Golden State Warriors is a high profile test for a firm that hasn’t done a ton in this space, but if it works out nicely they could be a natural fit for a Calgary arena project on the outskirts of downtown.


Lastly, Rossetti was commissioned to do some renderings on the event center district itself and so they did some mock-ups of the building. They did some design work on Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and they are trumpeting a concept known as the “inverted bowl,” which is purported to provide better sightlines and minimize construction costs. The challenge with Rossetti is they’re an up-and-comer and have done some cool concepts and consulting in the sporting space, but they haven’t built their inverted bowl yet. It’s a really cool concept, but it’s unclear if it would be wise for the Flames to be the guinea pig.