Kevin Taylor, DCI Account Manager
The century-old garage and sorting room of the main NY Post Office are not the kind of space that comes to mind for a wildly popular consumer event. But the space has a serious positive: location, location, location. It’s across the street from Madison Square Garden, known worldwide as New York City’s “Mecca of Basketball.” And so the National Basketball Association knew what it was doing when it chose the 70,000 square-foot space in the James A. Farley Building for NBA House 2015 – a fun-filled week leading up to the 64th NBA All-Star Game on February 15, 2015. NBA House featured special appearances by NBA players and legends, entertainment by local performers, and a full-size court on which clinics and competitions were held.
But first, some serious work was needed to transform the garage and sorting room into a colorful, exciting place for what the NBA called the “ultimate fan experience”. Dimensional Communications, Inc. (DCI) was hired by MKTG, Inc. to fabricate and install the exhibit…and I was excited to be the Account Manager for this job.
Our engineering capabilities and well-known attention to detail were critical for this project. We made numerous site visits to ensure the venue measurements were precise. The garage was a particularly difficult space to work with because of the grade changes in the floors. Our production team had to make adjustments to the supporting structures of the walls so that they would appear level to attendees.
DCI had a variety of structures to build. There were scenic and graphic walls, for which DCI used its Diamond System (lightweight high-resolution SEG fabric structure system). Some of the walls defined spaces; others hid timeworn concrete, dangling wires, and rusty pipes. Among the spaces carved out in the garage were a coat check, information booth, a 2,000 sq ft NBA Lounge, and a custom-built glass enclosure, where fans experienced a “behind the scenes” look at live social media updates throughout the event. Flooring was laid over oil-stained concrete and two railed ramps were built to connect the garage and sorting room.
The highlights of the sorting room were the full- and half-size court. The coolest structures that DCI built for this area were ten 26-ft tall towers, each with an 18-ft high graphic light box featuring a basketball star. Three additional towers were built for the entry/exit area outside the garage on 33rd Street. Another outstanding feature was the partner’s “courtside lounge”; for this, DCI built an 1,800 sq ft contoured platform with a ramp and glass railings.
Before long, it was time for the install…in the wicked environment of 10 degrees outside and minimal heat inside. It was a busy week of 16-hour days because a fair amount of construction had to be done on site. For instance, using scissor lifts and dropping cables from the ceiling, it took six laborers three hours to put together, and then set up, a single tower.
We were all completely exhausted at the end of each day but, when I got back to the hotel, it was enjoyable to see ourselves on the evening sportscast, as commentators talked about the on-going set-up and preparations for NBA House 2015.
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