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Extending the Life of Your Venue

In today’s fast paced world, sporting venues are being replaced at an increased frequency to provide a better experience for fans and athletes, incorporate the latest trends and technology, and keep up with the competition. What does that mean for the current home venue while the shiny new stadium or arena is in design and construction? The sports team at SSR has years of experience helping owners keep older, existing venues operational and viable that will ultimately be demolished in a few short years.

When we’re engaged on a project such as this, our initial step is to understand the anticipated lifespan of the existing venue. What is going to become of the existing facility: will it be torn down with the land redeveloped, or will the facility be sold to another owner and repurposed? These factors are considered in our approach, but we also seek to understand what our client’s ultimate goals are for the existing venue.

The specific approach to extending the life of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems may shift venue to venue, but this general approach applies to ensure the facility’s critical systems stay online and event ready.

Perform a Facility Condition Assessment
  • An FCA assesses the current condition of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems and gives us a roadmap to what may need to be addressed to extend the life of the facility.
  • This is the foundation for targeting items based on how long the facility needs to stay online and is used to proactively address potential issues.
Prioritize Work

Using the FCA, we analyze and target areas that could be potential points of failure and inhibit the venue from hosting events. The three areas we typically focus on are:

  • Electrical / Power Systems – What is the current reliability of the electrical systems? and What are some strategic equipment replacements or possible upgrades that will ensure the facility can remain online for scheduled events?
  • Plumbing Infrastructure – Booster pump systems, sump pump systems, and condition of domestic water piping: Are these areas that need to be replaced or upgraded?
  • Life Safety Systems – Fire sprinkler and fire alarm: Are the systems fully functional with proper certifications and code compliant?
Capital Expenditures Plan

Based on the identified priority work and remaining life of the building, SSR assists the venue operations team to set up a plan looking at what needs to be done annually to keep the venue up and running for each season and event.

This effort includes developing a cost and action plan schedule for each year of what needs to happen each month including the off-season.

SSR also considers if and how equipment purchased to extend the life of the existing venue can be repurposed into the new venue. Because of the construction schedule and sports season, it’s not often that a piece of MEP equipment can be moved from the existing to the new venue, but we do analyze if it can be used as spare parts for repairs or replacement.

As a team, we like to work closely with the owner to develop a plan that is truly integrated with their needs. This planning effort includes us working with the venue operations team to develop the scope of work and schedule, as well as working with the facility team to help make the plan become a reality. We are often onsite to manage the process when equipment replacement is taking place. We also have experienced staff to commission the replaced equipment and overall systems to provide the proper testing and verification.

Overall, when a venue is being replaced in a few years, SSR prefers to take a proactive approach to confidently ensure the building will remain fully operational to host events, but also be conscious of the owners’ investments.