Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 24

INTEGRATION Sports Stadium
CLIENT
RELATIONSHIPS
ARE THE
GOAL
CTI scores on customer satisfaction and repeat business
with the Philadelphia Union soccer club.
By Dan Ferrisi
WHEN IT COMES to achieving a worldclass
AV deployment, the most important
factors aren't the hardware and the soſt -
ware; instead, the foundation of a successful
application is a rock-solid relationship
between integrator and client. Fortunately
for the Philadelphia Union - a Major League
Soccer (MLS) club whose home stadium is
Subaru Park, located in Chester, Penn. - it
found a committed partner in Conference
Technologies, Inc. (CTI). In the pages that
follow, we'll explore all facets of what the
Union and CTI worked together to create.
Subaru Park opened its doors in 2010
and for the following 10 years, its video production
and display technologies remained
largely the same, even as technological
advancements raced forward. Thus, when
management OK'd a multi-million-dollar
revamp, including not only integrated technology
but also facility changes to enhance
workfl ow and improve the fan experience,
it was a golden opportunity to bring the
stadium back to the cutting edge. Carl
Mandell, senior director of broadcast and
entertainment for the Union, was entrusted
with a multi-million-dollar dedicated
budget for video systems. Mandell, in turn,
invested his trust in consultant Anthony
24
Commercial Integrator MARCH 2022
James Partners (AJP) and, eventually, CTI,
which responded to the Union's RFP and
won the project in fall 2019.
Laying the Foundation
Jim Wile, branch director, CTI, who heads
up operations and business for his branch
of the venerable integrator, says AJP's involvement
made the project especially appealing.
" We have a really strong working
relationship - a history, " he explains. " We
know what's expected of us; we know how
to participate; and we know how to provide
value. " Wile also mentions that Subaru Park
represents the integrator's fi rst foray into
the world of Major League Soccer - a sport
whose popularity is already world-leading
and whose status is growing rapidly in the
U.S. " That's certainly a market we wanted
to be involved in, " he notes. Thus, CTI
responded to the RFP and, in competition
with three or four other integrators, submitted
its bid. Then, it was up to Mandell and
his team to make the right choice.
The core of CTI's approach is to lead with
its talent, and that was what helped to seal
the deal. According to Mandell, " Right off
the bat, when we met with CTI, it was like,
'Here's the team of people you're going
Subaru Park, home of the Philadelphia
Union soccer club, is an athletic facility
built in 2010. Located in Chester, Penn.,
the facility sits in the shadow of the
Commodore Barry Bridge.
to work with. Here's what you'll come to
expect.' " That developed a bedrock of trust
that only solidifi ed further when CTI won the
job and began its design and integration
eff orts. " It was important that we were able
to give Carl a level of comfort that the folks
he was going to be working with were truly
expert, were truly accessible and were part
of the team, " Wile opines. By having the
experts - for example, Cheri Parker, senior
project manager, and Ryan Brodie, technical
services director - available to talk to the
client, CTI could clearly demonstrate its
organization-wide expertise.
With CTI having won the project in fall
2019, vendor POs started dispatching that
October; decommissioning of the old system
occurred in November and December;
the new system began to be staged in CTI's
Maryland Heights, Mo. facilities at the same
time; and onsite integration commenced
in January 2020. The intention was to have
the new system fi ring on all cylinders for the
MLS regular season in March.
According to Mandell, " For control
rooms that get built in sports stadiums, this
was probably one of the most aggressive
timelines, " with perhaps a month or two
shaved off the typical timeframe. Wile
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Commercial Integrator March 2022

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Commercial Integrator March 2022 - 1
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