With its brick façade and steel beams, the architecture of Clipper Magazine Stadium alludes to its industrial surroundings. Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania's Northwest Corridor, the 6,000-seat baseball park faces many downtown factories and is itself constructed over a former rail yard. Coincidentally, this section of Lancaster city was historically known as the "baseball ground” and is adjacent to the former site of Armstrong World Industries Lancaster plant.
Included in its rich history, the venue also depicts Lancaster's professional baseball history with a visual display to include a mural honoring Richard M. Scott, the former Lancaster mayor (1974–1979) who initiated the civic effort to break ground with the stadium.
After its grand unveiling, it became necessary for the facility team to address the outdated décor of the luxury suites. Modernization was the name of the game, as the existing broadloom carpeting had received daily abuse from thousands of sports fanatics since its opening in 2005.
“The carpeting was old, worn, stained, and green to top it off. It was looking aged and we needed our suites to be upgraded to entice suite holders to come back,” said Ian Ruzow, new owner of the stadium from Oak Tree Development Group. “Suite boxes are sold for 10 years at a time. The 10 years were up when we were going into the 11th season and people wanted their suites refreshed. We needed new ceilings, new paint, new televisions and new flooring to tie it altogether. We really needed the total package that would give the suite holders reason to be excited of re-upping to another 5-10 years.”
Regular maintenance devoured large amounts of time for the cleaning crew because of the worn out carpeting throughout each suite. Furniture had to be lifted off of the carpet and moved before cleaning could occur.
“24 suites and 70 games – you can imagine how much time that maneuvering took up before the actual cleaning happened,” said Ruzow. “Whatever cleaning did happen didn’t make the carpets look fresh at all. It was an endless cycle of unattractiveness throughout.”
To create an attractive, luxurious ambience in each new suite, the design team selected Armstrong® Natural Creations luxury flooring. Elizabeth Thomason, a sales representative and designer with the iconic Lancaster-based brand, was able to communicate her vision through sketches, and make sure the walls and flooring coordinated perfectly.
“It was a task for floor patterns for each suite as some were larger than others. The Natural Creations line of resilient flooring makes each suite classier and provides easier maintenance,” said Thomason.
Natural Creations ArborArt (wood), EarthCuts (stone), and Mystix (trendy visual) provided design-focused, low-maintenance options for the stadium, all with the quality, expertise and ingenuity that architects and designers have come to expect of the brand. The full line of Natural Creations products were designed in direct response to commercial interior performance needs and design trends. Not only were the products used in the suites, they were extended throughout the suite level, including the hallway, entrance, arcade and central Wheatland Suite.
ArborArt consists of more than 50 naturally inspired wood visuals in color and design combinations that span the entire spectrum, from the golden browns of traditional oak and the bold grain of exotic tigerwood to trend-setting weathered driftwood and even petrified wood looks. EarthCuts are large-scale tiles that draw design inspiration from beauty beneath the ground, including natural stone, minerals and metallic ore. A palette of earthy neutrals ranges in tone from cool grays to warm beiges with all the detail and variation of the materials that inspired them. The Mystix collection dabbles in textures, textiles and hand-painted art.
A True Homerun
The finished product has been met with nothing but positive feedback, and admiration from suite owners. Although the project faced several challenges (including the threat of not completing on time) installation was completed in early Spring 2015, just before the new season began.
“We’ve found a solution that is durable enough to keep up with our loyal fans. After upgrading to resilient flooring, the cleaning crew has shaved off time from each suite. Furniture can now be slid with no scuffing or scratching on these floors,” said Ruzow. “Not only have we saved time, but also money with low maintenance needed to keep these floors looking newer and fresher. We went from frumpy and discolored carpeting throughout the suite level to flooring with cleaner lines and stylized aesthetics.”
About the Lancaster Barnstormers & Clipper Magazine Stadium
The Lancaster Barnstormers are an American professional baseball team based in Lancaster, PA. The team is a member of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. From the 2005 season to the present, the Barnstormers have played their home games at Clipper Magazine Stadium, a 6,000-seat baseball park in the city's Northwest Corridor. Learn more at http://www.lancasterbarnstormers.com/stadium-info/
About Armstrong Flooring
Armstrong Flooring, Inc. (NYSE: AFI) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of innovative flooring solutions that inspire spaces where people live, work, learn, heal and play. Headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., Armstrong Flooring is the #1 manufacturer of resilient and wood flooring products across North America. The company safely and responsibly operates 17 manufacturing facilities in three countries and employs approximately 3,700 individuals, all working together to provide the highest levels of service, quality and innovation to ensure it remains as strong and vital as its 150-year heritage. Learn more at armstrongflooring.com.