Stageco muscle power for Super-Bowl
7 February 2008
USA - Despite the hundreds of modern mechanical ways of moving equipment, there are times when good old-fashioned people power is still the best. This was the case when Stageco US installed media and camera platforms in the upper reaches of the University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, for the NFL Super-Bowl XLII, the USA's most celebrated sporting occasion, on 3 February.
The company was asked to build 13 media platforms above one quarter of the venue's top three tiers of seating by event production company Noel Lesley Event Services Inc. (NLES), in conjunction with HOK Events.
The platforms were used for the broadcast and press booths which provided a temporary home to the huge international media circus which brought the Super-Bowl into the homes of 97.5 million viewers worldwide (the second most watched television programme in the US, ever).
About 35 tons of scaffolding were lifted to the stadium's fourth level concourse (at the base of the upper levels) using a combination of lifts and dollies. From then on the only option was to move the equipment through the remaining 23 rows of seats by hand.
Stageco's team leaders Hans Wert, Keith Ray and Jon Hawkins managed a local labour force of approximately 16 stagehands, carpenters and equipment operators, under the watchful eye of Noel Lesley himself (owner and president of NLES), who, given the magnitude of the event, took personal control of the operation, as well as NLES's Billy Thompson.
"Sometimes the old ways are the only way," says Stageco's VP of US operations, Mary Lou Figley. "The construction time allotted for Stageco was about five days, which typically would be a long timeframe. But given the challenge of moving the material by hand to the top rows, we used every minute. As we finished each platform, the production teams installed the décor elements, then went back to dress each structure to give it the final, show-ready presentation."
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