ORLANDO, FLA. — This year’s Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl between the Missouri Tigers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers remained fairly tight until the fourth quarter when the Tigers eventually pulled away with the 33-17 victory. But what happened behind the lines on New Year’s Day paled in comparison to the Orlando Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium’s extensive plumbing infrastructure victory, setting the stage for lofty goals.
The game plan provides Orlando, Florida, an 85 percent new stadium the city can use to host college football playoff games, World Cup soccer, and other major entertainment events.
When the scoreboard of the “old” Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium was torn down in January 2014, the project team was beginning to execute a hurry-up offense to complete a roughly $200 million renovation in only 10 months. The large-scale renovation project includes new restrooms, concessions, kitchen facilities and a team facilities building, as well as locker rooms for athletes and game officials.
Everything below the stadium’s upper deck was targeted for demolition and reconstruction to modernize the storied venue that opened in 1936, which includes a roster of Zurn Industries LLC products — stainless steel linear floor drains, lavatory and urinal carrier banks, closet carriers, storm water drainage, custom debris covers, wall hydrants, cleanouts and light-duty grease traps, floor sinks, floor drain stabilizers and more.
“The single most important material selection was the Zurn systems as suggested by David Wright with Specified Sales Associates and Frank Schaetzke with Zurn,” said Jim Tharp, owner/CEO, Tharp Plumbing Systems, Orlando, Florida., who was contracted to perform the plumbing system installation.
Zurn was drafted to provide its products for all of these spaces and to meet the challenges of an expedited project timeline, with made-to-order requirements. “Zurn products allowed us to build a sturdy prefab that was moved to the site and installed in-place with no damage or leaks,” said Tharp.
“Zurn enabled us to cut the installation time in half for water closets, urinals and lavatories,” said Tharp.
Based on recommendations from Tharp Plumbing, the specification of the Zurn products was handled by TLC Engineering for Architecture, based in Orlando and by Bobes Associates Consulting Engineers Inc. of Maitland, Florida.
Construction crews worked in 24-hour shifts and everyone associated with the project was focused on the expedited completion of the project.
“We had no room for timeouts,” said Dale Peterson, senior plumbing/FP specialty designer of TLC. “It was essential that the plumbing products deliver, not only excellent quality and performance, but also easy and fast installations.”
Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports, the organization that runs major events in the Citrus Bowl, including the Capital One Bowl and the Florida Blue Florida Classic, and the group instrumental in getting the stadium renovated, said that just seeing it in real life, and to be able to walk into the bowl, blew him away.
“Most of the country that would look at bringing business to Orlando has heard about this now, but once they actually come and experience it, I think all bets are off,” said Hogan.