Enmarket Arena

Savannah, Ga.

Award of Merit, Sports/Entertainment

Submitted By: Hussey Gay Bell in association with Perkins & Will and AECOM Hunt

Owner: City of Savannah

Lead Design Firm: Perkins & Will

General Contractor: AECOM Hunt

Civil Engineer: Hussey Gay Bell

Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore

MEP Engineer: ME Engineers

Almost 20 years of effort went into Enmarket Arena, the 9,500-seat, 215,000-sq-ft arena, which stands as the largest capital expenditure in Savannah’s history.

First funded by a city program in 2014, the $165-million arena is considered a catalyst for the surrounding Canal District, drawing from the city’s rich history, period architecture and southern cuisine with a façade of traditional brick and stone masonry accompanying expansive glazed curtainwall.

One judge familiar with the project noted the number of challenges that stood in the project’s way, from political and financial challenges it faced before ground ever broke on the project, as well as the tough location.

The project’s massive scope required multiple civil improvement projects both on and offsite, like roadways and the widening of an existing on-site canal and installation of 6,000 linear feet of 30-inch PVC via horizontal direction drill 100 feet below grade.

With almost 725,000 worker hours to complete the project, the AECOM Hunt team had to adapt quickly to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, including staggering work times, implementing daily mandatory site cleaning, reducing close contacts, temperature screening and more.

It’s a monumental project and the embodiment of revitalizing an underserved portion of west Savannah.