Skanska’s relationship with MetLife Stadium goes back seven years, when our firm first began building the award-winning home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets. Skanska and MetLife Stadium formed a smart, successful and collaborative partnership that allowed us to meet all of the challenges facing the construction of the stadium, which was completed nearly five months ahead of schedule.
Here’s a shot of my daughter and me while MetLife was still being built. We both worked on this project together – she as a cost control intern and myself as a VP -project executive. What a great experience!
The stadium opened in 2010, but once MetLife Stadium was awarded the 2014 Super Bowl, we could anticipate that come four years later, upgrades would need to be made in order to accommodate a sport that is constantly evolving in size, data and technological needs. Even the newest and most technologically advanced facilities face upgrades and game-specific compliance issues. MetLife Stadium asked Skanska to stay on board to assist in overseeing some additional projects throughout the 2013 season.
Skanska has a long track record in stadium construction. Our company built Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots; Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans; and LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. But Skanska has an even longer history with the home of the Giants and Jets. In 1974, we performed the steel erection of the old Giants Stadium. Needless to say, we at Skanska are passionate about football!
Nearly three decades later, Skanska built the new MetLife Stadium to be a world-class, state-of-the-art facility. It is also the first facility built to accommodate two National Football League teams. Incorporating innovative methods both in the construction of the facility and in its design, our construction team worked in collaboration with both franchises to cater to two different football teams.
On the construction side, we utilized advanced technology such as building information modeling throughout the planning stages, radio frequency identification for material tracking, as well as prefabrication to ensure completion of the project in the most efficient manner possible. On the design side, generally we incorporate a little team spirit into architectural design through painted logos, but for a venue that hosts multiple teams, our design build team came up with a more innovative method using screens that highlight the colors of the host team playing on the field that day – blue for the Giants and green for the Jets – all by the flick of one switch. Overall, the owners invested more than $80 million in the audio-visual equipment alone, half of that in the large stadium video screens designed to motivate and inspire the hundreds of thousands of fans who enter the stadium each year.
MetLife Stadium received countless construction awards, including the Associated General Contractors of America’s 2011 Build America award and the Design-Build Institute of America’s (New York Tri-State Chapter) Legacy Project of the Year award. As a result of the efficiency and success during the stadium’s construction, it seemed natural for Skanska to stay on the project to help with additional improvements when the need arose.
After turning over the stadium to the MetLife Stadium team, our own Kevin Brightly was asked to stay on board MetLife Stadium’s team to ensure a smooth transition after the construction process. As assistant project manager for MetLife Stadium Facility Operations with a comprehensive knowledge of the facility, Brightly has remained on-site at MetLife Stadium working with their team on continuous capital improvements.
Brightly is part of a small internal team, reporting to the assistant director of engineering while working closely with the stadium’s project manager. His role is quite different from the role he played during the construction process, when he worked alongside dozens of Skanska employees to manage subcontractors and day-to-day construction activities. His experience has helped ensure a seamless transition from the construction phase to facility management phase for MetLife Stadium than it would have been if they had to hire a representative who wasn’t as familiar with the facility.
An arrangement like this benefits Skanska, as well. By working closely with the owner, Brightly, and by extension, Skanska, has gained unique insight into both sides of a vast array of stadium projects that will inform and instruct all of Skanska’s future sports projects.
The ongoing relationship between Skanska and MetLife Stadium is a prime example of the benefits that arise when a facility owner and its construction partner combine their knowledge and expertise of the stadium to increase the efficiency of upgrades. This project serves as a strong model for best practices in making stadium upgrades not just for the Super Bowl, but throughout the season.