Protecting stadiums from elements, wear and tear

From Facility Executive: Large crowds and the elements can make any sport played in a stadium that much more exciting. But after the season ends, the wear and tear that these stressors can have on the stadium can quickly be seen. Routine stadium maintenance helps keep larger problems at bay.

Most sports stadiums in the United States are made up of reinforced concrete with steel seating supports and railing. Unfortunately, an even more universal characteristic is their openness and vulnerability to the elements — in addition to the wear and tear brought on by fans. All of these forces combine and take their toll on the structural integrity of a stadium.

Recoating surfaces in a stadium

Without routine maintenance, corrosion, movement and reoccurring freeze and thaw cycles will cause the concrete structures to crack, spall, and disintegrate. Water seeping through surface cracks will cause severe structural damage. Seats will crack and weather and steel supports will rust causing discoloration and fracturing of surrounding concrete.

Western Specialty Contractors has restored and protected a number of sports stadiums across the country, including the University of Notre Dame Football Stadium in South Bend, IN; Lindenwood Stadium in Belleville, IL; H.A. Chapman Stadium at the University of Tulsa, OK; Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI, and Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, CO. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, the firm is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing, and specialty roofing.

“Western’s experts work with stadium owners and facility managers to analyze the type and extent of any damage present and recommend cost-effective, remedial measures to protect and extend the life of the facility and keep fans safe,” said Crystal Moyer, director national accounts/marketing at Western Specialty Contractors. “Cutting-edge, long-wearing materials are often recommended to restore a stadium and protect it from future damage.”

Here are some examples of Western’s stadium maintenance work over the years:

University of Notre Dame Football Stadium

As the college football season approached, Western Specialty Contractors was contacted by the university to provide a new traffic coating system on all the concourses, concession stands, bathrooms, and pedestrian ramps around the stadium, in South Bend, IN. Constructed in 1930, the historic stadium hosts more than 80,000 fans each season to cheer on the Fighting Irish.

The project called for a fast track schedule that included cleaning, preparing, and recoating 270,000 square feet of traffic coating membrane. The project had to be completed in six weeks to have the stadium ready for opening day. Western crews were able to meet the tight deadline by working closely with the stadium operations staff.

H.A. Chapman Stadium

Western Specialty Contractors was contracted to complete work on the new skybox addition at Chapman Stadium at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Western caulked approximately 8,000 lineal feet of control joints and window perimeters. The stadium bowl also had a facelift, adding new seats and cast stone walls that were also caulked. During this stadium maintenance project, Western was asked to power wash the existing concrete wall and remove the old paint.

The Chapman Stadium project was fast paced and took a large amount of coordination between the subcontractors and general contractor. The work was completed before the start of the football season.

Miller Park

Western Specialty Contractors was involved in the construction of Miller Park in Milwaukee, the new home of the Brewers. Western’s scope of work was to provide a waterproof traffic coating system on one of the five concourses. The area totaled 100,000 square feet.

In addition to the coating work, a positive drainage system was installed. Imperfections to the concrete surface areas, such as scaling, gouges, scrapes, and cracks were also addressed. The application of the traffic coating system was completed in four phases and in time for opening day of the Brewers season.