Tyler Clay, Facilities Manager, Intercollegiate Athletics, University of Washington, explains how Dura-Trac, in partnership with CORT Party Rental, helped protect the playing surface at the Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium for the recent commencement ceremony.

As seen in PSAM Magazine 3rd quarter 2017. Click to view the original Article.

Can you explain why you needed a temporary pitch covering?

Our main stadium field, Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium is one of our biggest assets to protect.  We require flooring for the majority of activity held on this field outside of normal sporting competition.  The history of covering the field has roots in aesthetic appearance (hiding the football lines as ours are inlayed) and has quickly become necessary for protecting the field of play.  Over 6000 chairs, people, heals, and multiple hard structures are set on our stadium field – we lay flooring to protect the integrity of this field, remain complaint with our warranty on the material, as well as decreasing the amount of time needed to set this event up due to the nature of the equipment and structures used.

We commonly have a high profile football camp two days following this event – there is little room for error and the dura-trac flooring this year, acted as our insurance policy to ensure the field would be protected and easily flipped back to normal operations.

Why did you choose Dura-Trac?

Price, availability, ergonomic characteristics, performance, aesthetics and the burden which our existing flooring places on my staff.  We had entertained several versions of flooring, ultimately the Dura-Trac price point, availability to rent v. purchase and comparable characteristics to its competition were the main deciding factors which pushed us to Dura-Trac.

What are its advantages?

The advantages to the Dura-Trac flooring are tenfold.  Knowing our previous flooring consisted of approx.. 4”x12” rectangular tiles which are approx. 1/2” thick (owned) was beginning to rapidly degrade and become unusable – the Dura-Trac flooring decreased our setup time by over 6 hours.  But more importantly, when compared to previous years, the cleanup/breakdown was reduced by over a full-days’ worth of work for a crew of 15-20.   We were able to push full chairs carts smoothly across the flooring along with smaller utility vehicles and fork lifts.  It prevented us from having to revisit flooring from a safety standpoint daily as we were not concerned with the flooring separating or buckling.

The biggest advantage coming from my end as the manager, was its impact to our vendors and outside groups.  The expectations were clearly set ahead of time for what was allowed on the floor v. not and the number of calls, questions and concerns surrounding our main stage were minimal at best (typically this will consume my time during the week of commencement).  Our stage crew was able to erect the main stage with half the crew members in the same amount of time given the ease of access and travel to the stage location.

How long did it take to install and dismantle the flooring?

We laid approx…60,000 sq.ft. of the Dura-Trac flooring (Daniel can verify via CORT rents).  Once material was on-site and staged on the field – the physical construction of the flooring was completed with a crew of 15-20 bodies, working 8 hour days, for two days.  Keep in mind, this was a learning experience for both ourselves, and the vendor whom was on-site.  Conditions were Sunny and clear, approx. 80 degrees both days.  I can see us reducing the time and resources needed by roughly 5 bodies and half of a day.

Staging the flooring and matting the day previous to install was a key piece to our efficiency.  We segmented the flooring pallets on the field per a logistical diagram.  This work included (3) bodies for approx. 6 hours allowing our install crew to jump right into laydown when they arrived to the worksite.

Breakdown of the flooring is where the product pays its dividends.  Our field was completely clear and usable in one 9 hour work day, with 15-20 bodies.  Compare this to the previous year (keep in mind we are fighting an aged flooring system) 2 full 9 hour work days with 10-15 bodies, plus some additional time spent re-building our loose tiles for storage purposes.

What was the experience of working with Dura-Trac like?

The experience has been positive.  We worked with a rental company while also entertaining the side conversation to purchase the flooring.  Storage and frequency of use in our current operations were the main deciding factor that pushed us to rent v. purchase.  Their professionalism in the pitch of this product also was worth speaking about.  Throughout the entire process, it felt like they were there to support us in protecting our sub-surface in any way possible – regardless of purchase or not.  We were also able to speak directly with a representative from Dura-Trac during our install and provide some honest feedback on any changes we could see being beneficial.  This may seem like a little thing, but when my staff is able to supply constructive feedback which they feel can impact change – everyone wins.  This is where our industry needs to head – we all are fighting relative issues and putting our own spin on it.