Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Role: Maintenance Evaluation

Escalators: 17

Elevators: 9


It’s where the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers call home. But Heinz Field isn’t just a stadium, it’s a hub for sports enthusiasts, music-goers and event guests across the country. Built in 2000, the stadium seats more than 65,000 fans at any one time. The safe, efficient availability of the vertical transportation systems that help get people to their seats is of vital importance. Brian Opacic, Heinz Field’s stadium operations coordinator, said “having two separate service companies – one for the elevators and another for the escalators – under two separate contracts, along with the added cost of additional manpower, was cost-prohibitive.” It was then that Mr. Opacic looked to streamline the stadium’s contracts. With BOCA Group's reputation in the vertical transportation industry, the choice to use their services was easy. BOCA Group, a premier elevator/escalator national consulting firm, provides clients with services that range from design and construction, to maintenance and equipment evaluations, to modernization specifications. Mr. Opacic soon met with BOCA Group at the SMA Convention in Key West, FL, and plans to work together in this effort were established.

For Heinz Field, BOCA Group performed maintenance evaluations on 9 elevators and 17 escalators, and the stadium’s contractors were directed to address all deficiencies within a designated time frame. The current service contracts were reviewed, and stadium operations personnel were interviewed to determine the true needs of the client. Once an accurate scope of work was determined, BOCA Group drafted a new maintenance specification that addressed both the equipment and management needs of Heinz Field. From there, BOCA developed a bidders list and orchestrated the entire bid process, analyzed contractors’ bid submittals and held contractor presentations for the client. Once this process was in its final stages, BOCA coordinated negotiations for the client and made its recommendations on the new, best-suited maintenance contract. In the end, the entire process took a mere four and a half months to complete, affording Heinz Field even greater savings.

In following through with BOCA Group’s recommendation, Heinz Field awarded one qualified contractor the responsibility of keeping the stadium’s elevators and escalators in top shape. The Heinz Field team no longer needed to deal with two separate contractors. Instead of paying double for essentially the same types of services, annual maintenance costs were reduced by more than 42 percent. The Stadium received more services from the maintenance provider without increasing the cost of the service contract. On event days, vertical transportation stand-by technicians – which was decreased from four to two people -- was included at no additional cost. As an added bonus, free skirt brushes for the escalators – valued at $35,000 – were included. Today, Heinz Field rests assured that its vertical transportation systems are working effectively, and the people who use them can rely on the escalators and elevators to transport them safely and efficiently to each destination.