Under a joint venture, design-build contract, Clark constructed the Verizon Center, home to the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards. The project team completed the arena in only 19 months despite difficult site conditions. Since its opening in 1997, the Verizon Center has been pivotal to the revitalization of Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood.
The Verizon Center is a 20,000-seat arena with three levels of suites that start just 19 rows from the playing surface. The venue includes general concessions, premium-level food and beverage outlets, general and club-level concessions, commissaries, kitchens, lower-level lounges and a club restaurant, with seating for 350 people.
To build Verizon Center's structure, the project team erected a total of 6,600 tons of structural steel, which amounts to 12,000 pieces and included gigantic roof trusses, each weighing close to 200 tons.
The state-of-the-art arena incorporated complex electrical and mechanical systems. The facility's lighting is controlled by an elaborate, computer system. Throughout the building, Z-Panels allowed standardized camera, microphone, intercom and data/communication access nearly anywhere in the arena. “Show Power” was delivered to stage areas through a completely separate electrical distribution system meeting requirements for special grounding and high voltage for large, high-tech performances and also providing elements of redundancy for the complex.
One of the building’s greatest amenities, its location at the bustling Gallery Place Metro Station in Washington, D.C., was also one of its greatest construction challenges. One of the Metro station entrances was demolished and relocated to a corner directly in front of the arena. This work required coordination with utility workers to relocate extremely crucial underground telecommunications lines which serve the nearby Supreme Court, Congress, and the White House. In addition, the Metro lies directly underneath the Verizon Center’s event floor. The structure’s foundation is located over and around the curved subway tunnel and adjacent to the Metro station. General excavation was made within 10 feet of the tunnel, which remained in constant use throughout the project.
Small & Minority Business Participation
Clark achieved 42 percent Certified Business Enterprise participation on the Verizon Center, exceeding the Washington Convention and Sports Authority’s goal of 35 percent. In addition, Clark developed specialized programs for first-source hiring of District of Columbia residents, community involvement, and trades work mentoring.