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January 27th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs

Window Film Scores Big With NFL Los Angeles Project

By Chris Collier

NFL Los Angeles—the league’s new West Coast headquarters at Hollywood Park—first opened its doors on September 8, 2021. The 225,000-square-foot space includes extensive custom graphics throughout all four floors of the building. Architectural firm Gensler designed the building and the interior architecture. MetWest, a full-service glass film and wall graphics company, based in Long Beach, Calif., worked closely with Gensler and the NFL to implement their vision by producing and installing a complete graphics package incorporating an estimated 50,000 square feet of film.

Four Floors of Film

MetWest project manager Trever Hartung quarterbacked the project and implemented a variety of materials to execute each wall graphic concept, including a variety of metallic wall coverings.

“We were thrilled to be part of such a high-profile project, and ready for the challenge. There was a lot of pressure, which mainly came from the deadline side of it,” says Hartung, who entered the sign and graphics industry in 2007. “I’m very confident in what we do, what our limitations are and what we can get done. As the build went along, things had to be done in a certain order, and we had to adapt and change … We had to focus on our time management and make sure we were able to get each phase done when they needed it.”

MetWest began the project in April 2021, completing the project by September. More than 10 installers worked the job throughout its duration. Hartung’s team has tackled several lengthy projects in the past, but “nothing like this.”

“I would say the sampling process was the most difficult,” Hartung says. “Part of our process is to provide a physical, printed sample at a full-scale resolution so that the client can see the colors and the image quality. From one room to the next, it was a completely different design and graphic that had its own set of samples. It was very time-consuming—we have to get those approved before we can start production. The finished result was amazing, and well worth the effort.”

Carlos Gonzalez, graphics manager at MetWest, played an integral role in the sampling process. “It was probably the biggest project we’ve ever had here,” Gonzalez says. “This happened during COVID, so we were learning to work remotely at the same time.”

Running up the Score

One all-star element of the project was a 600-plus foot hallway with full-coverage murals featuring artistic renderings of iconic football players and coaches.

“It’s a massive testament to our team and what film can bring to branding,” says MetWest CEO Kelly Taylor. “[The NFL] spent a lot of time and money on executing this. They came in and brought full video teams and filmed us installing. It was very exciting to be a part of that.”

MetWest’s patented Peerhatch Dry Erase Wall Covering was another crucial element in the collaborative design of the space. The material was chosen for its non-ghosting and customization capabilities, according to the company. Printed with football yard lines, the Peerhatch walls flow cohesively with the rest of the space’s aesthetics, while also existing as a functional writable surface.

Many of the rooms have a double-sided visual, with one image appearing while looking in and another image while looking out. MetWest developed specialized production techniques and used a variety of materials to achieve this effect. The facility’s most complex rooms required the combination of four different production processes and three separate materials.

Taylor says the project demonstrates the potential of selling and installing wallcoverings, a segment that “opens up a whole new opportunity.” Members of Taylor’s company, founded in 1992, have continuously discovered new modes of branding. After getting their start in exterior glass films, they’ve expanded into a wide variety of applications. “Virtually any surface can be branded with our products. Why can’t we do the walls as well?” Taylor thought. “So now we’re a manufacturer of film products for glass, walls, floors, ceilings and doors.”

Football Fandom

The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving game in 2022 set a new NFL regular-season viewership record*. Fox Sports drew 42 million viewers to the game, making it the most-watched regular season game on any network. The past viewership high for a regular season game was 41.47 million, facilitated by a matchup between the Giants and the San Francisco 49ers during the 1990 season.

Taylor and company appreciate the significance of joining forces with America’s most popular professional sport.

“The cool element was, all of a sudden, having the Rams and the Chargers playing in our own backyard at this brand new stadium,” Taylor says. “And here we are building around the stadium, looking at the stadium every day that we’re in there doing installs and having meetings. It was exciting to see that.”

Gonzalez has spent 20 years in the graphic industry, and while he’s not a massive football fan, he values the project for its scale and place in American sports fandom. “It was huge for everyone. As soon as we knew it was coming and its scope, everyone was excited.”

NFL Los Angeles’ Construction Facts

Construction Facts

Copper Pipe: 110,500 lineal feet (21 miles)
Ductwork: 345,500 pounds (about the weight of a Blue Whale)
Conduit: 241,690 lineal feet total (46 miles)
Ethernet Cable: 1,295,000 lineal feet of Cat6A Cabling and 67,500
lineal feet of Cat5E Cabling (258 miles total—about the distance from
SoFi Stadium to San Diego and back)
Fiber: 1,400 strands—45,000 lineal feet of 48-strand single-mode fiber
Copper Wire: 225 miles
Drywall: 27,050 sheets (285 football fields worth)
Metal Studs: 513,600 lineal feet (97 miles)

Audio

DANTE Connections: 18,000
MADI Connections: 16,000
Intercom Channels: 2,048 channels Riedel intercom

Film

50,000 square feet

Information courtesy of NFL Communications. *Information according to The Athletic, a subscription-based sports website.

Chris Collier is the editor of Window Film magazine.
ccollier@glass.com

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