GPRS Helps the NFL Prepare for a Safe Draft Day

Ground-penetrating radar technology was used by a Toledo, Ohio, company to help safely set up the draft’s key staging areas

GPRS Helps the NFL Prepare for a Safe Draft Day

An example of the type of ground-penetrating radar technology that GPRS used to help the NFL set up safe staging areas for the 2021 draft.

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The NFL draft returned to its in-person format last month when FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, played host. Behind the scenes, it also turned out to be a bit of a showcase for the benefits of subsurface locating technology.

GPRS had the distinct honor to bring our industry-leading subsurface locating services to Cleveland and help our partners in the NFL get everything set up in time for the draft.

When we got the initial call from C3, the event company helping to put on and run the draft, it was because of an engineer’s crucial mistake. When building and setting up the stage — the largest and most crucial piece of equipment for the draft — they didn’t think they’d need to drill bolts into the ground to keep it supported. However, as they were erecting the stage, where future NFL superstars would be holding up their new team’s jersey alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, they realized they actually needed to drill into the ground, or else the stage wouldn’t be sturdy enough.

Because of our prior relationship with both the NFL and FirstEnergy Stadium, C3 called up our project manager, David Abdul, so that we could come use our unique locating services and ensure that they could safely drill into the location where the stage was going to be set up.

After scanning the area with our top-of-the-line ground-penetrating-radar (GPR) equipment and deeming it safe for drilling, C3 and its partners were impressed and decided to bring us back to help scan the areas surrounding the stadium and the streets leading to it. For five more days, GPRS project managers and field staff performed locating services, providing safe opportunities for C3 to place temporary fencing and promotional tents for the draft. The temporary fencing stretched all the way from the stadium to adjacent roads, blocking off the area for this large, encompassing event.

Was there anything in particular that GPRS found that helped the process? While scanning the surrounding parking lot in preparation for the temporary fencing, Abdul found a “void” spot. Turns out, this void was well-known by the property managers and in a past project where they renovated the parking lot, a field worker fell into the sinkhole and became seriously injured. Because of GPRS and our qualified project managers, we were able to detect this voidance and protect other workers and fencing personnel from becoming seriously injured and prevent costly damages in the lot where the fencing would be placed. 

The rest of the job went smoothly and we were able to help the NFL create a safe and exciting environment to hold the 2021 draft.

About the Author

Chase Foland is content editor for GPRS, based in Toledo, Ohio.


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