Stadium Partners Turn to Gallery to Meet Tight Deadlines and High Standards during the $50 Million Renovation
Hosting the Super Bowl in 2017 is expected to bring upwards of $500 million in revenue to Houston, Texas. That was a big incentive for the city and Houston Texans owner, Robert McNair, to renovate the existing NRG Stadium, bringing it back up to Super Bowl standards and winning the bid to host the big game. This will be the third time Houston has hosted the Super Bowl and the first since Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.
When it opened in 2002 at a cost of $352 million, the stadium was the first to feature a retractable roof. In September 2008, it sustained damage from Hurricane Ike. While improvements had been made over the years, the NRG Stadium needed a $50 million renovation before the Super Bowl LI in 2017 – the most expansive renovations, updates and improvements in the stadium’s history. Identified upgrades included a stadium-wide Wi-Fi system, suite improvements, a new turf field and delicious new food offerings with upgraded serving stations. Gallery was selected to provide the new kiosks and cart modules primarily due to its proven history of delivering high-quality products in a short timeframe. When the Texans hosted the New Orleans Saints in pre-season 2016, the stadium was just as impressive as the team’s victory.
- Houston Texan owner Robert McNair
- Construction Firm – Doffing Construction
- Architecture firm – Populous
NRG Stadium partners knew exactly what they wanted when they came to Gallery. Initial designs had been created for kiosks that matched the overall stadium look. They needed to be portable, but not look portable. This alone posed significant logistically issues. However, it was the timeframe that was the biggest challenge. The project was running behind and the kiosks had manufactured, equipped and delivered in less than six weeks. The obstacles Gallery faced in meeting the required deadline included:
- Securing desired materials or finding acceptable substitutes
- Expediting lead times on equipment
- Quick-turn manufacturing without sacrificing quality
“I knew from past experiences with Gallery that they had the experience and creative thinking needed to get the job done. With such a short timeframe, we couldn’t afford any mistakes. Gallery was the clear choice and they delivered on-time exactly what we wanted.”
Danielle Lazor, Vice President, Design, Development and Retail Operations
How Gallery Delivered
With only six weeks to go from design to delivery, Gallery’s team had to act fast. First, they design team went to work translating the provided drawing into blueprints for manufacturing. Each of the 16 kiosks contained four different cart modules, which had to be portable to allow for flexibility in location and configuration. However, it was important that the combined kiosks did not look portable, which meant that each section had to work together to create a seamless, integrated solution. Once the blueprints were finalized, the sourcing team began researching which specified materials were could be secured within the time limit. When a material wasn’t available, such as the preferred laminate from a Japanese supplier, the team provided recommendations on substitute materials that were available and within budget. After the units were manufactured, there was the additional challenge of equipping each kiosk. For example, the popcorn machines were on an 8-week lead time. To get them in time, Gallery worked with the supplier to expedite the manufacturing and had the units shipped directly to the stadium. Gallery’s delivery team was on hand to accept the shipment, coordinate the installation and quality check each unit.
“Gallery says yes, when others say no. Our company was built on “can do” attitude and thrives today because we get the job done even in the most challenging situations. A six week turn was a stretch, even for us, but I couldn’t be prouder of how the team came together and succeeded.”
Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans
Gallery’s carts and kiosks proved to be the ideal venues to showcase the incredible new food concepts at the NRG Stadium. Not only did they look beautiful, they were built to last for years to come. One particular unit was used for the Aramark’s loop and kernel concept. These carts were used to sell popcorn and pretzels throughout the stadium. The program was so successful, Aramark is planning to install additional Gallery carts in other stadiums to expand this product across other programs. As fans prepare to watch the Super Bowl contenders in February 2017, they can now happily enjoy Houston’s hospitality and the renovated NRG stadium.