2018 was a big year for Austin Tindall Park in Osceola County, Florida. That’s when they completed a major renovation, including four new fields and a stadium, and changed the name to Austin Tindall Sports Complex.
“The renovation was an opportunity to brand our facility in a way that communicated what we had become,” explained Vanessa Ellis, assistant facility manager. “We wanted to keep the facility relevant and let people know we had become much more than just a park. We are a multi-function complex.”
The new stadium, with 1500 seating capacity that can be expanded to 3000, hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year drawing a greatly increased cross section of visitors. Unfortunately, some choices made at the time of the renovation did not satisfy the new branding requirements or fit the facility’s updated aesthetic.
One major issue facility management needed to address was the fact that all the new parking was behind the stadium. People parked there and then walked into the complex from the back of the stadium, so that view was the first point of contact for new visitors…not the most attractive view. But approaching the new facility from the back meant the first thing they saw was underneath the bleachers. In addition, there was nothing to identify, or brand, the new sports complex. All the signage was on the front.
“We realized the back of the stadium was the perfect place to do something creative. We wanted to find a high quality privacy screen and brand the facility with our new name,” Ellis said. “We wanted our visitors to know exactly where they were as they entered the complex and to experience the kind of visual aesthetic that reflected our renovations.”
In an effort to hide the underside of the bleachers, contractors had initially hung lightweight windscreen around the back of the stadium that didn’t provide the opacity necessary to block the view or present a quality finished appearance. Additionally, that particular windscreen did not hold up well. Within less than a year it no longer fit properly. The badly wrinkled and improperly hung windscreen accomplished exactly the opposite of the intended effect.
Ellis contacted Ball Fabrics, Inc., to find a solution that would meet both requirements: present a quality aesthetic look for the back of the bleachers that reflected what visitors would see when they actually entered the complex, and properly brand the stadium.
Experts at Ball Fabrics recommended Privacy Plus windscreen for the job: a knitted polyethylene with 95% opacity, or closed mesh, that completely blocks the view and presents an attractive front.
Larry Ball, vice president at Ball Fabrics, explained the reason for choosing a 95% rather than 100 % opacity. “When the purpose is to maximize the visual block you have to be careful not to use a screen so dense that it puts too much of a wind load on the fence. You want to block the view, not blow down the fence. This is why we chose Privacy Plus. It accomplishes the visual blockage but still allows some wind to pass through. Also, it provides a very attractive finished look.”
At Austin Tindall Sports Complex the solution for branding the back approach to the stadium was solved with a 43’ long by 4’ high fence mural. The mural is printed directly on windscreen specially designed for print durability, longevity, and clarity. It displays the new name as well as the Osceola County parks logo, and is mounted along the back of the press box at the top of the stadium so it can be seen by everyone approaching the facility from the parking lots.
“Now,” says Ellis, “as people approach the complex from the parking area they encounter an attractive view of the stadium, very finished and professional, and they know exactly where they are because of the mural with our new name. No one doubts we have done a great job with our renovation and our branding.”