CannonDesign rejuvenates historic sports venues for Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games

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The renovated Herb Brooks Arena, the iconic venue that hosted the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey game.

January 14, 2023

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We are honored to have helped the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) rejuvenate Lake Placid's historic Olympic Center and other venues to help it host the 2023 FISU World University Games.

Taking place from Jan. 12-22, the FISU World University Games is the largest winter multi-sport collegiate athletic event in the world. The 11-day international festival and competition combines high-level sports with educational and cultural events.

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One of the key elements of our renovation work is the redevelopment of the Lake Placid Olympic Center's main entry. The space is modernized to help inspire remarkable guest, athlete and tourist experiences.

In total, ORDA invested $500 million in facility upgrades to modernize spaces across the Adirondack region for the World University Games and future international sports events. Our team was part of some of these updates (which were profiled by Sports Business Journal), including:

  • Renovations to the Olympic Center which includes the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena (the Miracle on Ice rink), the 1932 Jack Shea Arena, the James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval and public spaces including a signature restaurant that looks out upon Whiteface Mountain and other iconic competition venues.

  • Specific to the Olympic Center, our work focused on reprogramming its main entry, renovating and upgrading spectator seating and athlete support spaces and improving the overall game day experience. We also renovated office space in the connected "link" building and introduced a monumental stair and glass elevator.

  • We helped with early concept and schematic design for the 45,000-square-foot Mt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass Lodge, a mixed-use facility that includes areas for sports like the biathlon, bobsled, cross-country skiing and more.
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A view out toward the new glass elevator and monumental stair that now help define public space in the Olympic Center.

The opportunity to renovate such historic sports spaces and contribute to an international event the caliber of the World University Games is a remarkable moment for our firm. We wish Lake Placid, ORDA and every athlete competing a wonderful experience.


  • The level of investment, partnerships and ingenuity that went into updating these facilities was an incredible feat. These venues set a new standard for international sports events in numerous ways. They empower ORDA and Lake Placid to continue hosting the world's best athletes for generations to come.

    Darcy Norfolk Director of Communication, ORDA
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One of the exciting design challenges for our team was marrying buildings from different time periods into a unified architectural vocabulary. Ultimately, the project embraces a rustic, Adirondack and Lake Placid look and feel.