Friday, July 26, 2013

Keeping it Clean: Arena Summer Months Are Cleaning Months

There are 12,800 seats in the Van Andel Arena. In one year, hundreds of concert goers, thrill junkies, entertainment seekers and Griffins fans will sit in each and every seat. Our seats are forsaken as just a place to sit, when theses thrones of opportunity truly lead to so much more.

Your seat introduces you to the world you have suddenly become a part of. It throws you alongside the throngs of screaming fans. It propels you onto your feet when our team scores a goal, and holds your beer while you celebrate in a round of high fives. It lifts your children higher as they stretch to see the circus elephants. And it brings friends together for a night out on the town. Our seats play an imminent role in the Van Andel Arena experience, and we proudly care for them throughout the year.

For almost two months every summer, our maintenance team cleans the place that brings happiness to so many. The crew cleans the floors, walls, decking and understructure, power washes the chair beams and cleans the upholstery of the arena bowl. The edges of the stairs are repainted for safety, the catwalk and concourse are thoroughly dusted, and any gum remnants are scraped away. The hardworking team at hand consists of eight SMG members, alongside an additional six to 18 people per day depending on the number of projects occurring at once. 

To begin the cleaning process, the crew starts with the most important element of the arena’s bowl: the seats. They actually disassemble the entire row of chairs to power wash underneath them and thoroughly clean the seats. From there, they are able to inspect possible damages and perform repairs. The crew checks the dasher boards for damages, looks for broken welds and tightens any loose screws.

Beyond the bowl, the team cleans 2,400 folding and banquet chairs, cleans the facility’s carpet and rewaxes the lobby’s entrance. They also get downright dirty by cleaning out the compactor room and just plain stinky when cleaning out the zamboni pit! Also at this time, the team works together in updating and extending training of safety procedures to meet SMG’s best practices programs and remain OSHA compliant.

To say the least, the crew is busy. They began this year’s cleaning process following the Calder Cup Playoffs and the June 30th Rush Concert. And they will complete their dirty jobs just in time for our fall events, because we have another year of concerts, thrills and games to cheer about at Van Andel Arena!