Architecture, Design, ESG, Intuit Dome, Sports and Leisure, Sustainable Legacies, Transforming Los Angeles

AECOM is the lead designer of Intuit Dome, the future home of the LA Clippers. The iconic new sports and event venue has been designed for optimal and intimate engagement with the community and fans and will raise the bar for every major sports franchise in the world concerning sustainability through design and fan experience.

In the Intuit Dome blog series, we are taking a deep dive into each element of Intuit Dome with the leaders who made this project a reality. Throughout these pieces, we discuss features like community engagement, sustainability and visionary design/innovation to learn more about what makes Intuit Dome a game-changer in sports and entertainment.

A game-changer in sustainable arena design and community impact, Intuit Dome topples all categories in innovative sports architecture. Design features like a unique gridshell enclosure, a 38,375-square-foot halo-shaped LED board, five full-size courts, a commitment to carbon neutrality and much more make Intuit Dome an iconic sports and entertainment venue.

Although an extraordinary level of innovation and attention to detail has informed the design of the internal aspects of the Intuit Dome program, its connection to the surrounding neighborhood was also critical, both socially and sustainably. The LA Clippers worked with the City of Inglewood on a far-reaching benefits package— funding for schools, housing, infrastructure and jobs have all been part of the commitment to develop an arena with positive community impact. Intuit Dome naming rights partner Intuit is committed to making the arena a hub for programs that power economic prosperity and benefit the community.

As a native Angeleno born and raised in Inglewood, I understand the need for empowerment and investment for the long-term development of this community. AECOM was given the opportunity to not only develop and design Intuit Dome, but the responsibility of ensuring that this project brought about positive social impact and economic inclusion. As Intuit Dome’s VP for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), my job was to lead the charge for community engagement to effect that ambitious goal.

The positive impact is already in motion. Local Inglewood businesses are getting their first opportunity to take part in a massive global project in their own backyard. Workforce development programs have given second chances to union workers with good pay and benefits. With these commitments also comes looking toward the future of infrastructure in Inglewood. Our team firmly believes in “leaving it better than how we found it.” We are interested in not just building the future of physical infrastructure but human infrastructure as well. For this project, that entails a dedication to the youth and prioritization of sustainable legacies.

You can design and build one of the most notable arenas in the world and create a vast impact and ensure there is a legacy to leave behind at the very same time.

For Intuit Dome, we have focused on four key pillars as they relate to community engagement and AECOM’s commitment to the client and arena. The first is business inclusion, honing in on requirements, goals, and efforts so that minority and local businesses participate in the project’s success through subcontracting. The next pillar is workforce development, which involves setting goals to ensure that AECOM prioritizes local community members in relation to the building trades. The third pillar is community and stakeholder engagement. For this pillar, I manage the relationships outside of the project, ranging from the mayor to city council to community organizations, nearby residents, and local businesses. Creating a foundation with these elements helps AECOM to lean into the community and support local organizations and local community members and set up a good neighbor program.

The last pillar is youth education. We are deeply committed to including the local youth in the region— who are a large part of the overall success of the project. The team has programming ranging from student tours to youth career fairs. As part of the youth education pillar, AECOM has built a strong partnership with the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor Program, which provides exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) understanding, engagement and opportunities for students at a local high school, City Honors High School, as part of Inglewood Unified School District. The impact that AECOM has on the community is one of the most impressive parts of the arena and this program showcases that. AECOM also brought the first-ever pre-apprenticeship program to Inglewood Unified School District, ensuring that with the legacy left behind, there will be a more sufficient pipeline from high school to post-high school into the building trades.

The overall vital commitment to the community is also tangibly illustrated through Inglewood’s drop in unemployment rates. Prior to the construction of Intuit Dome and SoFi Stadium just to the north, the unemployment rate in Inglewood was around 17 percent. Now, as job creation in the area has increased, the unemployment rate has declined to around 4 percent.

We have the talent in our own backyards. Our investment in them is how we ensure that we tap into those resources and talents and bring them into the company to help move communities forward, in Los Angeles and beyond.

Learn more about Intuit Dome and how we are delivering a better world in Los Angeles and beyond. Get inside Intuit Dome.

Originally published May 8, 2024

Author: Ken Billups