President and owner
Manica Architecture

Two of the highest-profile venue projects in North America offer contrasting environments. Chase Center in San Francisco, opening this month, creates an arena on the bay, a fresh home for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The other, Allegiant Stadium, opening in Las Vegas in 2021 for the NFL’s Raiders, places an indoor stadium in the Nevada desert.  

Both were designed by David Manica.

With a career that started at the pre-Populous HOK Sport in Kansas City, Manica served as the lead architect on London’s O2 Arena and the new Wembley Stadium, as well as the Beijing National Stadium, the centerpiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2007, he started his own firm.

He knows that every sports project may bring the same ingredients but still comes with the goal of creating something completely new. “That is the art of the puzzle I love solving with clients,” Manica said.

With venue projects totaling over $10 billion in construction in his 25-year career, Manica hasn’t slowed on the high-profile projects and continues to learn about the clients and audiences he works for, understanding the changing role of a sports venue in society. That role drives an evolution of design, from the 1930s to the 1960s to the 1980s to when he got into sports design exclusively in 1994. 

“This industry is always changing, and it is incredible to be a part of it,” Manica said. “The expectations and demands of the building to bring more joy, bring more enthusiasm and higher levels of comfort and wider ranges of experiences with more revenue for owners, those expectations keep increasing and that bar keeps getting higher. That is what pushes us forward.” 

That rings true, whether by the bay or in the desert.