October 07, 2009

Expanded Tyser Tower Opens at Maryland's Byrd Stadium

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – When the Maryland Terrapins football team took the field on September 12, it marked more than the start of a new football season. The Terrapins' home opener also marked the debut of Byrd Stadium's expanded Tyser Tower press box and spectator facility. Built by Clark Construction Group, LLC, Tyser Tower has nearly tripled in size, to 98,000 square-feet, and features amenities that will benefit the University, the athletic department, television and radio broadcasters, working media, and spectators. Originally scheduled to open in September 2010, the renovation and expansion of Tyser Tower was completed one year ahead of the original schedule. 

Clark's scope of work included completely renovating the existing 33,000 square-foot Tyser Tower and flanking the facility with twin five-story additions. Tyser Tower now contains 68 spectator suites, a 214-seat President's Lounge, several Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant spectator seats, and provides cover for 701 new spectator seats on the Concourse level.  A fully-enclosed fifth level serves as a working press area with accommodations for 148 journalists, and facilities for home and visiting coaches, public address, scoring, and statistician personnel, as well as radio and television booths with high-definition broadcast capabilities. 

Shortly after being selected to perform the $41.7 million expansion and renovation of Tyser Tower, Clark proposed expediting the design and construction schedules in order to deliver the new facility in time for the 2009 football season. Clark worked with subcontractors from the project's earliest stages to adhere to the aggressive schedule. Key design packages were fast-tracked so that early trades could begin work while the balance of the design was completed. 

The existing Tyser Tower was not designed to carry the structural loads required by the new exterior seats. The Clark project team relied on a structural support system common in bridges to erect the new seating areas. Comprised of 3 ½-inch diameter rods, the support system is connected to massive steel frames located under the fifth floor. These rods hang down from the frames to support new tiered seating platforms below them on the fourth and third floors. 

Tyser Tower remained operational during the 2008 Maryland Terrapins football season. The project team took extensive measures to ensure the safety of the nearly 50,000 fans that attended seven Maryland home football games while construction operations were ongoing. 

The Tyser Tower expansion and renovation is another chapter in the long-standing relationship between Clark and the University of Maryland. The company has completed several projects for the University's athletic department, including the original Tyser Tower structure, the Byrd Stadium Expansion, and Football Team Building.