Industry Blog

Strong partnerships, Technology Contracting ensured Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium was ready for Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls

by Johnson Controls

Any football team attempting a two-minute drill knows how critical it is for players to understand their assignments and execute flawlessly to secure a successful outcome with no time to spare. That same mind-set among the partners involved in the development of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village is what allowed the stadium to be ready for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls in record time.

This one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment complex is home to a stadium that was recently profiled as one of the “13 Game-Changing NFL Stadiums” by Forbes. It was largely completed in just ten months, in time to host Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls activities including the Hall of Fame Game, Enshrinement and Concert for Legends. (Continuing work on the venue will include the addition of a concourse and permanent seating in the east end zone, as well as cabanas, an 80-foot scoreboard and ribbon boards. This final phase will be completed in 2018.)

No “Hail Mary” needed The partners in the project knew their roles and the game plan, and, with shared vision, values, integrity and plenty of trust in their teammates, they were able to come together to deliver the desired outcomes. Johnson Controls’ partners — the Pro Football Hall of Fame, developer Industrial Realty Group, technology architect and program manager TSAV (Technical Services Audio Visual), and the architectural firm, HKS, all agreed — at the heart of this project was the integrity that all the partners exhibited from the design to the construction to the technology that created a world-class experience in the stadium.

“The distinction was the integrity behind the project. It’s not something that is talked about, it’s worked into the construction process and design,” said Peter Dugas, principal and senior consultant, TSAV. TSAV’s Dugas credits early involvement by the owners, even prior to the programming stage, with helping the team understand what motivated the owners’ decisions, and that allowed the team to deliver the desired outcomes. Explained Dugas, “The owners needed to have a commitment to a level of engagement in order to understand how the technologies interconnect, and how that in turn would affect possible outcomes. For the stadium project, technologies needed to be integrated in a way that is not typical to a construction project.” Special projects require special skillsets.

Johnson Controls served as technology contractor for the stadium project. As a primary point of contact during construction, Johnson Controls, in partnership with TSAV, was able to bring an enterprise-wide perspective to managing the planning, design, installation, integration, commissioning and service of technology systems, business applications and supporting infrastructure. The partners agree that the coordinated approach used by Johnson Controls simplified, optimized and reduced technology cost and risk, saving time and decreasing construction and operating costs, while ensuring that technology was deployed and integrated in an orderly manner to achieve desired outcomes.


Carol Smith, vice president, commercial development, Industrial Realty Group, recognized a few components of the Technology Contracting process that allowed the project to be completed in ten months. “We picked the right trade partners. Imagine 400-500 tradespeople on a job at the same time. Without alignment in vision and scope among our partners, and an extreme degree of project coordination by Johnson Controls’ project executive, this simply could not be done.”

Smith also credits constant, efficient, streamlined communication from Johnson Controls with keeping the project focused on the end zone — Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls.

Future-ready can only happen with good pre-planning The stadium was created not as a collection of systems, but as a functional whole, conceived, designed and delivered with the end in mind. Johnson Controls’ project executive Kevin Mowan explained, “If integration was attempted after the systems had been installed and construction was complete, the process would not only be more costly, but more difficult and more time consuming. We would never have kept to our scheduled timeline.” The partners also focused on ensuring that the various technology systems and integrations were coordinated so that the systems are not only smart and sustainable today, but support any future innovations.

Trust among partners is key HKS is no stranger to stadium projects, having designed smart venues for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys. Rex Carpenter, associate principal, HKS had a front-row seat to the myriad complexities that had to come together for the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium project to be completed on time. Community, ownership, partners and tradespeople had to align behind David Baker, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Stu Lichter, founder and chairman of IRG, the driving forces behind the vision for the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village. The project represents an opportunity to not only honor the heroes of the game, but promote excellence everywhere, a commitment the partners embraced.

Observed Carpenter, “People, commitment and trust allowed this project to come together as quickly as any project I’ve ever experienced, and that’s a testament to this team. The technology is truly amazing. TSAV and Johnson Controls both contributed leadership and industry knowledge, without which this amazing venue could not have been completed.” Added Hall of Fame Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Gold Jacket Relations, Pat Lindesmith, “Football is a great metaphor for life and this once-in-a-lifetime project is representative of what it takes to build a championship team. Our partners have huddled up to make Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village truly world class.”

TOM BENSON HALL OF FAME STADIUM CASE STUDY Johnson Controls and the Johnson Controls logo are registered trademarks of Johnson Controls or its affiliates, in the United States of America and/or other countries. ©2017 Johnson Controls P.O. Box 423, Milwaukee, WI 53201 Printed in USA CSST-17-366