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A couple of weeks from now on February 6, 2011, The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers will be squaring off for Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, TX at Cowboy Stadium. While the spotlight will be on the athletes from now until game time, the real heroes of this extravaganza are the stadium maintenance staff who must prepare the stadium for use, react quickly as problems develop and repair the damage done after the game has concluded.

Cowboy Stadium Facts

Cowboy Stadium completed in 2009, is the largest domed stadium in the world. The stadium has a seating capacity of 80,000 and a standing room capacity of 110,000. Just as impressive, are the stadiums 3,000 LCD displays and an HD TV stretching almost 60 yards across the field.

Although this maybe what you see from the TV cameras, it is other features that will help make the Super Bowl a success in the eyes of those attending. These very important features include:

Critical Stadium Assets

  • 1700 toilets and urinals (including twice as many restrooms for women than men plus family restrooms).
  • 11,500 parking spaces.
  • 800 point of sale locations (food, drink, merchandise)
  • Dozens of elevators and kitchens.
  • Thousands of paper towel dispensers, water fountains, soap dispensers, garbage cans, sinks.

The ability to maintain stadium assets in working order is the difference between hosting an outstanding event or creating a negative legacy that can take years to overcome.

Stadium Asset and Maintenance Management

Good stadium asset management for important high profile events starts well ahead of time. Effective management of stadium assets starts with a plan, continues with a course of action that includes inspection and preventive maintenance tasks and ends with having a complete record of all maintenance activity that is used for analysis and preparation for the next event.

Stadium Asset and Maintenance Management before the Super Bowl

Preparation for major events includes the inspection and subsequent work order management of:

  • Plumbing and fixtures: repair all leaks, fix lighting problems.
  • Safety features: These items include fire extinguishers, working escape routes, secured handrails, removal of standing water, emergency lighting etc.
  • Vendor management: Making sure vendor contracts are in order for elevators, kitchens as well as other assets where service is outsourced.
  • Seating and doors: All seats and doors should be in working order.
  • Parking lots: Should be kept clear of broken glass and have good signage.

Stadium Asset and Maintenance Management during the Super Bowl

Prior inspections should have given stadium maintenance teams a heads-up on known issues that need to have an eye kept on them during the game. However, new problems will arise during the game as a result of extreme use. If not attended to promptly, small problems could easily become a major liability nightmare for owners. Some of the assets that need to be regularly inspected on game day include:

  • Restrooms: Constant inspection for sewage backups, leaking water, standing water, ventilation, paper towel dispensing, soap refill etc. Poor restroom management is a long term public memory.
  • Garbage collection: Garbage that is not able to be placed in receptacles is a safety hazard.
  • Exits: All exits should be kept clear and unlocked should an emergency occur.
  • Security cameras. Make sure security cameras are working for the early identification of trouble and crowd control.

Stadium Asset and Maintenance Management after the Super Bowl

Immediately following and before the next even, all assets should be inspected again for damage. Recurring maintenance issues should be noted in the historical work order database to determine cause and a long-term maintenance solution.

Stadium Asset Maintenance and Management Tools

Stadiums have hundreds of thousands of assets that need to be documented, inspected and/or maintained. When a stadium such as Cowboy Stadium that costs over $1 Billion, is not properly maintained, the expected useful lifecycle of the stadium decreases rapidly. Without proper care the stadium is likely to become just another eyesore on the landscape.

Stadium facility managers have a number of tools at their disposal to make sure that assets are managed over their entire useful lifecycle (planning to retirement). The best suited tools for stadium asset and maintenance managers are Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solutions. An EAM enables stadium and maintenance managers to:

Attributes of EAM for Stadiums
  • Paperless scheduling of inspections and maintenance tasks using rugged handheld mobile devices.
  • Creation of a database so that stadium managers always know where their assets are, what condition they are in and their complete maintenance history.
  • Vendor management is easier by using online document storage for maintenance contracts, contact information, blueprints and terms of service.
  • Fewer unplanned maintenance activities as a result of pro-active maintenance.
  • Better capital budgets as a result of better analysis of maintenance trend and problems.
  • Better documentation to fight claims of asset negligence stemming from accidents or injury claims.

When things go well no one notices the work performed behind the scenes, but everyone takes notice when something goes wrong. A smooth Super Bowl is the ultimate reward for stadium and asset and maintenance management visibility. The real heroes all the workers that make the event happen.