Populous is a global architectural and design firm specializing in sports facilities, arenas and convention centers, as well as the planning and design of major special events. Independently owned and operated since 2009, it was previously part of HOK (Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum) which was founded in 1955.
Populous is credited with the creation of a new era of baseball park design beginning with Oriole Park at Camden Yards (1992) in Baltimore. Other “retro” ballparks designed by the firm includes Progressive Field (1994) in Cleveland and Coors Field (1995) in Denver. Minute Maid Park (2000) in Houston, PNC Park (2001) in Pittsburgh, Petco Park (2004) in San Diego, and Yankee Stadium (2009) as well as the Red Sox spring training facility JetBlue Park (2012) in Fort Myers are just some of the 20 major league ballparks and 76 spring training facilities and minor league ballparks they’ve designed. Locally, Gillette Stadium (2002) is another of the firm's designs.
In Lowell, HOK/Populous designed Edward A. LeLacheur Park on Aiken Street which opened in 1998. This Single A and college ballpark offers views of the Merrimack River, Ouellette/Aiken Street Bridge, Lawrence Mills, and various UMass Lowell facilities. The seating bowl is raised above the field while a concourse surrounds the top of the park where the concession stands and bathrooms are located with the design providing an open view to the field from the concourse.