We don’t usually write about sports teams in our blog. Each of us, to the extent that we follow sports at all, has his or her favorite teams. We follow these teams for a multitude of reasons: family traditions, geographic locations, alma maters, favorite conferences, star players, winning teams and announcers as well as the design of the players’ stadiums.
In addition to those reasons, the architects, engineers, general contractors, steel fabricators and specialty subcontractors can be justifiably proud of the stadiums they built for sports teams. And this pride may make them a little more inclined to root for the teams that play in these stadiums.
At Chicago Metal Rolled Products, especially at our Kansas City, Missouri, plant, we are cheering for the University of Missouri football team whose record is now 10-1 putting them at the top of the Eastern Division in the SEC. With a win this weekend against Texas A & M, the Tigers could vault into the national championship picture.
In order to expand its seating capacity to 82,000, the University added an upper deck and two-and-a-half decks of luxury suites in their Phase II plan for Columbia (Mizzou) Memorial Stadium.
For this project, Chicago Metal rolled 35 tons (41 segments) of W8 x 50#, W16 x 36#, W18 x 35# and W16 x 26# beams to outside radii from 68ft–2 3/4in to 82ft–7in. All the beams were curved the “hard way,” (i.e. against the strong axis) and in our Kansas City plant.
Some of us are following the University of Louisville Cardinals men’s team who won the NCAA Division I National Basketball Championship in 2013. The team plays at the KFC Yum Center which incorporates 55 tons of curved steel beams for both the wavy roof and the curved facade. Chicago Metal curved 16 ea. W33 x 152# beams against the strong axis to a very tight 59ft–4 1/8in outside radius. A perennial powerhouse, the Cardinals currently ranked 9th among Division I teams.
At the pro level, the Arizona Cardinals are football playoff contenders. Chicago Metal curved 410 tons of 12in square tubing to frame the retractable roof at the University of Phoenix Stadium where the team plays.
Professional baseball teams that play in stadiums where we have supplied a considerable amount of steel have also done well. Since we curved steel for the St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium, they have won two World Series titles. And since we rolled beams for PNC Park, the Pirates reached the playoffs in 2013 for the first time in 21 years.
Now I’m not say’n that our curved steel caused these teams to succeed, but no doubt our steel fabrication has enhanced the experience for fans and for those of us who helped build the teams’ stadiums.