Behind the Scenes at Lucas Oil Stadium
5/4/2009 9:35 AM
My behind-the-scenes tour of the massive Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, began with a preview conversation with Alpha Sales Corporation’s VP Cal Ealy, whose rep firm served as the liaison between HH Gregg’s commercial division and the manufacturer OmniMount. I met Ealy on the northside of Indy and he drove us downtown to see how products from one of his major brands, OmniMount, were used to support 1200 video displays throughout concourse, press box, luxury suites, concession areas, and retail shops in the home of the Indianapolis Colts.
I asked Ealy to explain the role of the sales rep (he also reps Russound, Onkyo Integra, and NuVision) on a project like this, and he said that his firm helped find answers for the installation contractor when one of OmniMount’s stock design didn’t quite fit a give application in the stadium. He coordinated requests from the commecial division of midwest and southeast AV retail giant HH Gregg when they need specific product dimensions adjustments or basic tech support. If Alpha Sales couldn’t give the answer, then they put HH Gregg’s in touch with the appropriate people at OmniMount. “We made sure the correct color of the product was ordered, fabrication was performed on any adaptor plates that were needed for the odd-sized commercial Sony panels,” Ealy said.
Alpha Sales worked with three people in tech support and his sales manager at OmniMount on the project, as well as John Hickey and Rick Benner at HH Gregg’s Commercial Division.
When we got downtown I met Rick Benner, who directed a very busy six-man installation team over a year and half of prep and installation at the stadium. His team’s sole responsibility was the installation of video display mounts and the displays themselves, along with programming Pro-Idium cards for each screen, so that they would all synchronize efficiently. The mission took them to corporate suites, the enormous press box, mezzanize walks, concession areas, elevators, inside seating areas for the suites, and private luxury boxes.
“In doing this installation you could not be a white knuckler and afraid of heights,” Ealy told me. There was a lot of hanging over balconies and manual lift rides to great heights. “It was pretty incredible,” he added.
Benner agreed saying, “I kinda had a fear of heights before this project, but it was like my fear factor and I got over it.”
Click here for a slideshow of my visit and specifics on the project.