Just got done with a really crazy week at CONSOL Energy Center. Things always move fast there, but this week in particular had an extra jump to it. Maybe it’s because we’re less than 90 days away from substantial completion that’s causing everyone to hunker down a little bit more. Here’s what I saw:
- They are doing a lot of the terrazzo finish – and a lot of the final floor finish in general. The arena is really hard to navigate because with every turn you seem to run into a closed off area.
- I think they raised the center hung structure Friday to set the limits on it, but I didn’t get to make it to the site in time to see. They’ve been intermittently tossing up Avatar on Blu-Ray, and the colors look spectacular.
- Installation (rack and stack, as the racking dudes say) on the control room began this week as well. It’s not quite like Christmas morning, but maybe it’s akin to when you order a bunch Christmas gifts online and they show up at your house. So we have our Chyron HyperX3 in the house, the Ikegami cameras, the Ross switcher, and a crapload of monitors and converters.
- Funny thing about this room. The part where we put all of our racks and terminal equipment is easily bigger than our entire control room at Mellon Arena.
- It will probably take about two and a half months to put this room together. There’s about a billion and a half wires that all have to have connectors put on one end, that in turn have to be neatly dressed into the racks and connected to the equipment.
- After that comes the actual configuration, commissioning, and training which takes a month in itself. Not going to be much of a summer vacation this year.
- The lot behind the arena where the TV trucks will park and the loading docks will be is starting to take shape. Thank God. After walking through the mud since the fall I am so happy to finally see concrete that I wanted to lie down and kiss it. Seriously.
- Most of the seats in the lower bowl have been installed, and the retractables are in too.
- Carpet is going into a lot of the suites – maybe all at this point. If you’re lucky enough to be in a suite you are going to be so shocked at how roomy they are. It’s really going to be a great experience.
- Have I said TV’s are everywhere? If not – TV’s are everywhere. Stood at a spot on the upper concourse yesterday and was able to see 8 TV brackets from where I was standing. At a much wider spot on the lower concourse, I could see 12. Plus, with the open concourses that let you see into the bowl no matter where you are, you aren’t going to feel out of touch when you grab some delicious nachos. I don’t think I can really explain how different of an experience it is from Mellon where it’s not open at all. You’ll know as soon as you walk through the first time.
- And of course, what’s a trip to the arena without me taking a walk out on the roof. Took a couple co-workers out with me, too. They asked, “Are we allowed to be out here?” to which I replied that “I come out here all the time.” To which they again asked, “Are we allowed to be out here?” Sorry, just had to go out and see the satellite receivers. I couldn’t be stopped.
- Finally, hats off to the guys working for TSI Global (or sub-contracting to them, I’m not sure at this point so apologies if I get it wrong) that are moving a lot of the audio and lighting racks up into place. People, I did this job a long time ago when I worked for Synergistic Technologies (now Azcar) and it is no fun at all. Every day you come home scraped up with a new cut somewhere and feeling like you just got beat up while tumbling down a hill. I do not miss those days at all. Hats off to the cats who have the energy and patience to do this kind of thing day in and day out.
Hopefully next week I can contribute to this space a bit more. It’s getting more and more difficult to write here and post pictures, although it one of things I look forward to every week. I’ve had tons of folks ask me about 3D and what my thoughts are how it relates to hockey, and I have the post about 3/4 of the way done.
Thanks for listening.