THINGS ARE ‘LOOKING UP’ AS VENUE OFFERS UPGRADES TO TOURING ACTS AND FANS ALIKE
Contact: Erin Bilton
Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, which provides Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, has been working diligently to enhance the customer and performer experience at the historic venue since being named its manager in January of 2014. These enhancements include a new rigging grid system in the main arena, a new sound and lighting system in the Adrian Phillips Theater, and locally branded concession stands featuring upgraded menu options.
Spectra, an expert in hospitality and entertainment, continues to seek new ways to deliver a high-quality customer experience to those that may be visiting the arena as a performer, or may be visiting as a paying customer. The installation of the rigging grid and sound and lighting systems offers touring acts more production opportunities, easily compatible rider-friendly options, and the most cost-effective solutions for promoters.
The recently installed rigging grid system will be unveiled in the 14,000-seat arena when the Kill the Lights Tour, featuring Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town performs to a sold-out crowd in Boardwalk Hall on Friday, June 3.
We’re excited about unveiling the new super-grid to show promoters and production crews,” said Spectra’s Fran Rodowicz, General Manager of Boardwalk Hall. “The new system is going to afford us the capability to rig show production in a timely manner consistent with other venues around the country. It also allows us to do various productions at smaller capacities at Boardwalk Hall, creating more flexibility for shows which is typical of productions like Cirque Du Soleil, as well as increase our full-house seating capacity. The new grid also features a fall protection system which provides a safe environment for our labor and a state-of-the-art computerized load sensor system that allows us to monitor production weights in real-time.”
The rigging grid system is an aluminum grid that is 150 feet wide by 295 feet long and is comprised of 56, 25-feet sections and 14, 12-feet by 25-feet sections located between Truss 1 and Truss 7 of Boardwalk Hall. The grid is fabricated of aluminum truss that is 26 inch by 26 inch wide. An aluminum plate is welded on top of the grid for ease of walking and rigging. The system also incorporates a fall protection system, real time load cell management system, safety cables and access lifts. This system is suspended to the existing building trusses and is located 95 feet above the event floor.
“CRDA, as owner of Boardwalk Hall and the Convention Center, is happy to have been able to provide the capital financing to keep Boardwalk Hall competitive. We are proud of our historic, first-class event arena and the positive economic impact we provide to the region. Our goal is to remain one of the top-grossing arenas of its size in the world for many years to come,” said John Palmieri, executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).
The super grid project utilized IBEW Local 351 and Iron Workers Local 350 for installation and installation preparation. Athletic Performance and Rigging of Tiffin, OH was responsible for the design, fabrication and installation of the grid system. Other organizations involved in the project include: The Harman Group, Inc. of King of Prussia, PA (Structural Engineer); Environmental Design Inc. of Pennsauken, NJ (Environmental Work and Inspections); MARQ Steel L.L.C of Lester, PA (Steel Reinforcement and Removal); and SOSH Architects of Atlantic City (Code Review).
Rigged above the house stage in the Adrian Phillips Theater, the new lighting system features four trusses with more than 75 LED lighting fixtures. A new lighting truss was also installed over the standard boxing ring for shows with a center-stage. Furthermore, the new lighting package has been designed to account for any additional lighting fixtures that show production may be interested in utilizing.
The new sound system features a main PA system that can sustain 268,000 watts at a max load. The audio system is comprised of the latest JBL-Vertec Line Array System, Crown Itech and Yamaha equipment that can easily interface with many of today’s touring sound systems, which offers a turn-key approach to tours and artists who are interested in hosting a show in this historic space.
Boardwalk Hall recently hosted concerts by Lauryn Hill and the Tedeschi Trucks Band. “These are the first concerts in close to 10 years that have taken place in the Theater. Some fans don’t even realize that we have a Theater in this historic building. We had such positive feedback from our patrons that experienced the intimacy and beauty of this room and we’re excited about the potential of more shows.” said Rodowicz.
Additionally, Spectra upgraded dining options within Boardwalk Hall. Chickie’s & Pete’s began offering two of its most desired items- Crabfries and chicken tenders – at a rebranded concession stand on the north side of the venue. Fans can dine on PJ Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant’s famous buffalo wings and P.J.W. Copper Lager. Following an appearance on Guy Fieri’s ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’, Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House co-branded a concession stand with Yard’s Brewery and offers patrons buffalo chicken and pulled pork sliders, cheesesteak spring rolls, and craft brews including Philadelphia Pale Ale, Yards Brawler and Love Stout. Additionally, Maui Wowi, known for bringing the Island Vibe and Aloha spirit to any event, offers guests smoothies, funnel cakes, churros, and more.
“We looked at the customer experience from an in-arena dining perspective and what areas could be improved,” said Rodowicz. “Forging relationships with local restaurateurs allows us to offer our customers outstanding products in a unique setting at Boardwalk Hall.”
This summer Boardwalk Hall is slated to host comedian Bill Burr June 18, OVO by Cirque du Soleil June 22 through 26, Justin Bieber July 15, Kidz Bop Kids July 23, and the My2K Tour featuring 98 Degrees August 12. Furthermore the rodeo returns to the historic venue on Veterans Day weekend with the 39th Annual American Finals Rodeo and I Love the 90’s Tour featuring Vanilla Ice on November 5.
About Spectra Spectra by Comcast Spectacor is the expert in hosting and entertainment, partnering with over 300 clients at 400 global properties to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s expertise is embodied within three divisions: Venue Management (formerly Global Spectrum), Food Services & Hospitality (formerly Ovations Food Services) and Ticketing & Fan Engagement (formerly Paciolan). Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com.
Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Corporation, a Fortune 50 media and technology company that operates Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., In addition to Spectra, Comcast Spectacor owns and operates the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center venue. Visit us at ComcastSpectacor.com, PhiladelphiaFlyers.com and WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com for more information.
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, CRDA’s mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state’s key economic development agency for Atlantic City, resulting in nearly $1 billion in economic development and non-gaming attractions. In total, CRDA has invested nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide since 1984. CRDA responsibilities include land use regulation, clean and safe initiatives, tourism marketing, and ownership and oversight of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall.
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