Posted: Friday May 1, 2020

The concept of multi-use event spaces has been trending for quite some time now.  A major aspect of this concept is guest experience: providing customers with an enjoyable and memorable journey from ticket purchase to parking to wayfinding to concessions to the event itself. Today’s audiences have high expectations.

They want comfortable seats; state of the art sound; sharp lighting and crystal-clear projections. Fans today are buying much more than just a seat at a sporting event or concert.

The “more” mindset carries over into just about everything these days. Earlier this year, we purchased pens to give away at a trade show. They’re not just pens, though. There’s a ballpoint tip on one end and the other end is a touchscreen stylus.

You can remove the stylus to reveal a reversible flat head/Phillips bit. The barrel of the pen features a built-in bubble level, and is also marked so you can use it as a 3” standard ruler or as a 7cm metric ruler.

Just like no one wants a plain old pen – you can get one of those anywhere – people aren’t drawn to single-purpose venues.

Folks today want a space that’s easily accessible with enhanced capabilities for a tailor-made guest experience. They want more value, more savings, more… you get the idea. They’re looking for a destination, a place to spend their time.

This is what “more” looks like in today’s arena: Metallica – The San Francisco Symphony – Dave Matthews Band – Eric Clapton – Bon Iver – Elton John – John Mayer – Mumford & Sons – Janet Jackson – WWE Monday Night Raw/Smackdown Live – Eric Church – 40+ Golden State Warriors home games – Thrive City Farmer’s Market – Trevor Noah – Andrea Bocelli – Cher – Esports Night.

Throw in some two-dozen restaurants and retail spaces, public parks and public art along the waterfront, and you’ve got yourself a destination. If people are willing to spend their time at your venue, chances are they’re willing to spend their money there, too. Expanding your revenue stream with that type of variety begs the question – how do you keep up with it?

“I don’t have exact numbers,” says Bob Powers, head rigger at Chase Center. “But I guarantee it’s faster to hang a show with a SkyDeck™.”

Bill Renstl, Bob Powers, and fellow rigger on the SkyDeck™ at Chase Center.
Bill Renstl(L), Bob Powers(R), and fellow rigger(C) working on the SkyDeck™ at Chase Center. Bob is sitting on an I-beam. He is able to easily and safely place his feet on the bottom flange of the beam because of 6″ grid wells on either side of the beam. The riggers are perfectly safe and cannot fall through the grid.

Chase Center boasts a 49,860 square foot rigging grid. 12,000+ square feet of the grid is filled with patented SkyDeck™ tension wire grid by IA Stage, Inc.

This technology helps facilitate the smooth transition between the shows that make up Chase Center’s busy schedule.

The SkyDeck™ tension grid at Chase Center is comprised of 188 modular steel panels, strung with aircraft cable woven on 2” centres to form a mesh working surface.

Designed to handle the wide range of events hosted at the arena, Chase Center’s SkyDeck™ features a 2”x2” hybrid steel frame, specifically engineered for very low weight-to-strength ratio, and has a live load capacity of 20lbs per square foot. The design incorporates 6” grid wells, making it easy to wrap beams without compromising riggers’ safety.

For those who need something stronger, IA Stage also manufactures SkyDeck™ II, which is catwalk-rated and has a live load capacity of 50lbs per square foot. Little Caesars Arena in Detroit has a SkyDeck™ II measuring over 35,000 square feet.

Powers explains that the emphasis on keeping up the speed of changeovers between shows is not about cutting labor or taking shortcuts. It’s about meeting the demands of modern audiences safely.

He says, “Is it faster? Absolutely. Is it easier? Absolutely. But safety is the real game changer.”

Shortly after the venue opened in 2019, Chase Center’s crew hung Ariana Grande’s 24 truck, 148-point show in 2 hours and 28 minutes. That’s roughly two rigging points per minute. They loaded out that same show in 2 hours and 19 minutes, with zero injuries and zero accidents.

Powers added, “It’s like safety belts. By not using one, you’re choosing to expose yourself to a risk that’s just not necessary.” And that is exactly what SkyDeck™ was developed for – to eliminate falling, the #1 risk of the entertainment industry.

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