In 2013, Michigan State University’s football team won every single game played at Spartan Stadium. This year, the players will grab their gear from lockers featuring Banker Wire mesh before walking onto the field that saw so many victories.
Colleges and universities increasingly rely on state-of-the-art facilities to recruit athletes. In the past, however, Michigan State football coaches avoided showing recruits their outdated home locker room. Now, after a substantial addition, the Spartans have a locker room to be proud of. The new locker room was included in the addition of a 50,000sqft North End Zone Complex, which was designed by Integrated Design Solutions.
The 5,000sqft locker room, called the Rachel Fairman Adams Spartan Locker Room, after the late mother of former MSU and NFL offensive lineman Flozell Adams, leaves no question of the identity of its home team. A Spartans carpet covers its floor, photos of the team decorate its walls, and green accents are interspersed throughout the space. Every detail is tended to – including the lockers themselves, which are embellished with Banker Wire woven wire mesh.
Ann Green, senior associate with Integrated Design Solutions and the interior designer of the North End Zone Complex, said:
We looked at several materials to use as embellishments. Banker Wire mesh had an upscale look and was still durable enough to use in an athletic environment.
Integrated Design Solutions sought an alternative to traditional wood lockers. For that purpose, they turned to Banker Wire, eventually selecting the M44-2 weave. This pattern features groups of four wires that intersect in a plaid-like pattern, adding visual interest to the lockers, and allowing their users to place hangers and other items almost anywhere they choose. In stainless steel, it complements the Spartan green used throughout the facility.
The M44-2 weave used at Michigan State University is a lock crimp pattern. Lock crimps are characterized by straight sections of wire connected by a well-defined “bump” at their intersections. Thanks to these strong connection points, lock crimp offers strength essential for a facility used by some of the nation’s best college athletes. Before playing hard on the field, players can grab their gear from hard-working, durable Banker Wire mesh.
Adrian La Tona, architectural designer at Integrated Design Solutions, added:
The Banker Wire technical staff was very willing to work with us and find the best possible answers to our questions.
The USD$24.5m renovation was completed in August 2014. The project team included general contractor Barton Malow, headquartered in Southfield, MI, USA. Barton Malow’s CEO is a Michigan State graduate.
About Spartan Stadium
Spartan Stadium is in its 91st season as home to Michigan State football. Since its opening in 1923, Michigan State has won 70% of its games played in the Stadium. The Spartans hosted their 500th game at Spartan Stadium on Oct. 12, 2013, against Indiana on Homecoming.
Spartan Stadium represents a tribute to Michigan State’s football past and a vote of confidence in its future. In just the past two years, more than USD$34m has been committed to upgrading the 91-year-old facility to continually enhance the gameday atmosphere.
In June 2013, the Michigan State Board of Trustees approved a USD$24.5m project to the north end of Spartan Stadium that opened in August 2014. The new structure features a two-storey, 50,000sqft addition, as well as an entrance plaza, renovated gates, and additional restrooms and concessions. The building includes new locker rooms for teams, coaches and officials, including a 4,500sqft home locker room and a 700sqft home training room, in addition to a 3,600sqft media centre and a 4,000sqft engagement centre for all varsity sports. Former All-America offensive lineman Flozell Adams provided a leadership gift of USD$1.5m for MSU’s new locker room, which is named in honour of his late mother, Rachel Adams.
Prior to the 2012 season, new high-def Panasonic video screens and scoreboards, as well as a new sound system were installed in Spartan Stadium. The new scoreboard/video screen in the south end zone is 5,300sqft, compared to its predecessor that measured just 567sqft (installed in 1998). The top of the new south end zone structure reaches 130 feet. In addition, two new video boards as well as an LED ribbon board were added to the north end zone. The LED ribbon board covers 4,500sqft (450ft long and 10ft high). Combined, the south and north video screens/scoreboards total 13,300sqft. The USD$10m project replaced a 14-year-old scoreboard, message board and audio system. In July 2014, ESPN named Spartan Stadium’s south end zone scoreboard among the Top 10 in the nation at No. 9.
A USD$64m expansion project completed prior to the start of the 2005 football season featured the addition of nearly 3,000 seats, including 24 suites and a 193-seat press box, bringing the current stadium capacity to 75,005. “The Spartan” statue was relocated to the atrium of the new structure. The 200,000sqft addition also houses the MSU Alumni Association, University Development and other units. The Michigan State Board of Trustees approved the major addition and expansion project of Spartan Stadium in September 2003. Barton Malow/Clark served as the construction manager for the Spartan Stadium expansion project, with HNTB providing architectural services.
Following the June 26, 2011, U2 “360º” concert, the entire playing surface in Spartan Stadium had to be replaced. The new playing surface, planted in April 2010 at Graff’s Turf Farms in Fort Morgan, Colorado, is comprised of a blend of four varieties of Kentucky bluegrass. The installation of the new sod, transported to Spartan Stadium in 26 refrigerator trucks, took three days (July 12-15).
Spartan Stadium, which officially opened in 1923 at its current location, featured a natural grass playing surface until artificial turf was installed in 1969. The stadium returned to natural grass for the 2002 season. In 2005, the natural grass playing surface in Spartan Stadium earned Field of the Year honours from the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).