Superbowl goalposts built by Delhi company
By Cheryl Petersen
Approximately 110 million people will stop what they are doing to watch the National Football League’s Super Bowl Game on February 2. Up to 92,700 of those fans will be seated at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Otherwise, the game will be watched on screens and monitors around the country.
A majority of fans will view the entire game while being fueled by salami sandwiches and pop. Other folks will glance away from their chore of washing diapers or repairing a bicycle to see if the game deserves their full attention. And yet another cluster of fans will be admiring the goal posts.
The custom made goal posts that will be used in the game came from Delaware County’s Sportsfield Specialties Incorporated (SSI), based in Delhi. They were designed to meet the demands of modern sports construction and multi-use fields, epitomized at MetLife.
“Although SSI features a number of innovative goal posts, including their patented AdjustRight® series, MetLife management requested customized manually hinged posts that would mount to a base plate system beneath the field. Removing the posts is accomplished by attaching a cable from a maintenance vehicle to a tab welded to the gooseneck section of the post and then using the hinge mechanism to gradually lower the entire post to the field for removal and storage. For reinstallation, the post is placed on the field and attached to the hinge mechanism before being pulled to an upright position,” said Wayne Oliver, President of SSI.
MetLife contracted with SSI to achieve their mission of building a transformative stadium. The $1.6 billion stadium, completed in 2010, was designed with the intent of constructing a versatile facility. Owned by two iconic NFL franchises, the New York Jets and New York Football Giants, the MetLife stadium contains key features adaptable to allow manifold usage of the 2.1 million square foot facility.
The stadium is capable of hosting not only football games, but also major concerts, entertainment events, college sporting events, international soccer matches, motor sports, and family shows. The goal posts can be removed quickly and safely to make room for a stage on the field.
“SSI’s affiliate company, Clark Companies, was also involved in developing the original field at MetLife,” said Oliver. “Studies on ground depth and water table levels were factored into the design before constructing the underground base plates to which the goal posts are attached.”
David Moxley, director of sports construction sales at SSI, was closely involved in the month- long procedure of engineering and installing the finished goal posts. “I traveled to the MetLife site for measurements, then followed the manufacturing of the products here in Delhi at the plant, and again returned to install the finished product,” said Moxley. “Installation was complete in less than three hours.”
Under the field
The plates are in a compartment six to eight inches under the field. A hydraulic based hinge system raises and lowers goal posts. Field equipment outfitted with a crane, attaches a cable to a tab on the gooseneck of the goal posts. Pins are removed at the hinge. “The posts are then easily lifted to lie on the field.” The posts then can be broken down into three parts, the uprights, the crossbar, and the gooseneck, to be stored when not in use. “Safety is increased all the way around as workers can stay on the ground,” added Moxley.
Also noted is the powder coating finish. “The types of materials SSI works with are top of the line,” said Moxley. “Powder coating on metal is accomplished with electrical charges and an oven, and leaves a long lasting, durable finish on the posts thereby diminishing the need to re-paint each year.”
Established 1998, SSI has continued to produce state-of-the-art sports construction equipment. “Besides multiple other products sold, SSI manufactured over 300 goal post sets last year, mainly for middle, high school and college fields,” said David Moxley. SSI makes available batting tunnels, mats, scorer’s tables, sand pit covers, hurdles, the list goes on.
Capturing the pro-football contracts fits nicely into the SSI program.
“Patented AdustRight® Football Goal Posts have also been installed at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona,” said Moxley. “SSI is also expecting to install football goal posts in two new professional fields for the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons, currently in the project design and pre-construction phases.”