Dale Koger (left) and Gary Birdsall, now of PCL Construction, have worked together at Legends Global Development, Turner Construction and Clark Construction. (Courtesy PCL Construction)
Sports development executives Dale Koger and Gary Birdsall, who were project managers with Legends before leaving the company in the past three months, have joined PCL Construction.
Together they’re heading up PCL Sports Division, a new group within PCL Construction. Koger, with more than 40 years of experience tied to $20 billion in sports facilities, is the division’s vice president and general manager. Birdsall, with 32 years of experience, is a vice president.
At Legends Global Development, they served as owner’s representatives for the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, a combined $5 billion development that includes the new stadium for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, plus Banc of California Stadium, which Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC opened last month, among other projects.
PCL Construction built Banc of California Stadium, which at $350 million stands as North America’s most expensive soccer-specific venue. In Canada, PCL constructed Rogers Place, the Edmonton Oilers’ 2-year-old arena; Mosaic Stadium, a new Canadian Football League facility in Regina, Saskatchewan; and an expansion of BMO Field, the MLS stadium in Toronto, which underwent a retrofit to accommodate the CFL’s Argonauts.
PCL Construction’s corporate headquarters are in Edmonton and its U.S. home office is in Denver. PCL represents a group of independent construction firms that produce $6 billion in projects annually. Its international footprint extends from Canada and the U.S. to the Caribbean and Australia.
For 2017, PCL Construction placed eighth among the world’s top contractors ranked by Engineering News-Record, a construction industry trade publication. In U.S. sports alone, PCL ranked fifth last year, according to a list compiled by Building Design and Construction, another trade magazine.
Koger is familiar with PCL Construction after competing for projects against the firm when he was employed by Turner Construction from 2000 to 2014. At one point, Turner and PCL formed a joint venture to compete for Farmers Field, AEG’s NFL stadium project in downtown Los Angeles, which was announced in 2010 but later abandoned.
“We did some preconstruction services before that job was scrapped, so that’s really where I got to know PCL on an in-depth basis,” Koger said. “When I decided to make a change, they were the first people I contacted.”
Koger left Legends in February, and Birdsall departed the company two weeks ago, Koger said. They’ve been tied at the hip for more than 20 years, dating to Clark Construction in 1996. They worked together at Turner Construction for 10 years before moving to Legends four years ago.
“We had discussions [with PCL] of what it would mean for the two of us to come together,” Koger said. “We have different skill sets, very complementary. Gary and I have started a couple of other divisions in prior careers. It just seemed to make sense that we get together and start from Day One, and that’s exactly what we were able to do.”
Koger and Birdsall intend to grow PCL’s sports portfolio. A big part revolves around hiring the right people and collaborating with the right mix of consultants, Koger said.
Considering its home base and strength in Canada, the firm plans to compete for a major renovation of Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays’ 29-year-old retractable-roof stadium, he said.
PCL will also pursue major college sports projects, civic arenas and specialty work such as the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where it has a strong presence. In addition to Banc of California Stadium, PCL built the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live and handled Hollywood Palladium renovations.