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Paul Griesemer, Principal & Architectural Director, Ellerbe Becket
Published August 23, 2010
Paul Griesemer has spent 24 years designing sports venues, with an emphasis on pro and college football stadiums. He has worked with 13 NFL teams and numerous more colleges on their facilities, including the renovation of the hurricane-damaged Louisiana Superdome and the reinvention of Lambeau Field.
What I Like …
An insight: Try to go home every day and feel proud about one thing you did that day.
An influential person in my career: My very first repeat client, Bud Reese. He owned a small trucking company and taught me the value of relationships with one’s clients.
An out-of-the-box idea: Playing NHL hockey in outdoor stadium venues.
A timeless idea: Slow down and no texting (for my teenage daughters when driving).
A sports facility: Lambeau Field. It’s everything that is good and right about football.
A sports event: High school football championships.
A strategy: Focus on building relationships, and building projects will follow.
A hire: John Madden by “Monday Night Football.”
A brand: Google. It has become synonymous with Internet information.
A trend: Expansion of sports to include more complete game-day entertainment.
An innovation: Interaction of smartphones with sports and entertainment.
A pro league or team business initiative: The NFL youth program.
A story that bears watching: The NFL in L.A.
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Post-it notes.
A fantasy job: Demolition contractor.
What I Like About …
My job: Opening days of stadium projects. It’s a blast to see the multitude of ways people can enjoy your hard work.
Sports: The NFL, without a doubt.
Sports business: Unlimited ability to be creative and reinvent.
Sports media: Mobile television.
Sports technology: Technology has greatly expanded teams’ ability to train and as a result the athletes’ abilities. As the athletes get better, so does the fans’ attraction to the sport.
Sports fans: Their passion and the creative ways they show it, from “Cheeseheads” to the “Hogs” to the “12th Man.”
What I’d Like To …
Change in what I do: Fewer accounting spreadsheets.
See: The Northern Lights. I love to take in nature that is monumental in scale and so beautiful.
See more of in sports: Underdogs winning.
See more of in sports business: Underdogs winning.
See less of in sports: Frivolous officiating. Let the teams play!
See different: Prohibit Christmas sales before Thanksgiving.
Eliminate: Sudden death in the NFL.
What I Don’t Like …
Pet peeve: Not enough power outlets in airports. Plus, they are always hidden!
In sports: Players who care more about comparing salaries than statistics.
In business: Ditto for business.
About sports fans: Fans with bad attitudes and language that ruin the event for everyone around them.
What I Like …
People: The people of New Orleans. Following Katrina, they showed more resolve and determination than I could imagine while rebuilding both personal and professional lives.
That would surprise those who know me: My nickname in high school was “The Prince of Darkness.”
Above all else: A really good banana split on a summer night.
Player:NdamukongSuh. The most impressive player and person I’ve seen come out of the college draft in a long time.
Possession: My home.
Memento: Aerial photo of Lambeau Field Opening Day in 1960, signed by Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor.
Music: From Rascal Flatts to Vivaldi, depending upon my mood.
Author: Tom Clancy.
Gadget: I pretty much live and die by my BlackBerry.
Chores: I like getting into home improvements. I set high expectations.
Hobbies: Doodling, on pretty much any notepad I have.
Trips: Can’t beat camping with my family at the lake. Watching sunsets without the pressures of work is the good life.
Movie: “The Hunt for Red October.” I’m a sucker for a good submarine movie.
TV: The Discovery Channel. I’m pretty much a junkie.
Artist: I’m a fan of Ansel Adams’ black-and-white photography.
Food: Steak and potatoes. Just like every other solid Midwestern male.
Scent: My wife’s perfume.
Vacation spot: Table Rock Lake, just outside of Branson, Mo.
Car: The 1972 Malibu Laguna I had in high school. Took a licking and kept on ticking.