iTHINK Financial Amphitheater


Protecting iTHINK Amphitheater’s Structural Steel

This 20,000 seat performance venue in West Palm Beach, Florida hosts major concerts and other performances throughout the year. Designed with seating that faces the west, its audiences are often treated to views of spectacular, colorful sunsets. First opened in 1996, the open-air amphitheater is reported to have undergone more name changes than any other venue in the United States. Due to its age and frequent use, iTHINK requires periodic maintenance.

The Champion Challenge

During a six-month period, Champion crews were engaged to blast and coat the amphitheater’s steel structure. The project, which required the use of 125 ft aerial lifts, involved pressure washing to remove all dirt and surface contaminants. Water pressure was engaged at a relatively low 3,500 psi to conform with WJ4 standards, leaving as much of the surface material in place as possible. After the cleaning was performed, any areas that were heavily corroded were blasted to SSPC-SP6 commercial standards. All other areas to be coated were blasted using the less intense SSPC-SP7 “Sweep/Brush” protocols. Following the surface inspection, any areas that had been SSPC-SP6 blasted received a prime coat of Amerlock 2 Epoxy. When the epoxy had cured, all structural steel surfaces were finished with Amerlock 2 Epoxy.

Throughout the project, protecting the ground from spent abrasive, dust, and paint called for the deployment of impermeable airbag tarps. And, because the amphitheater seats could not easily be removed, crews covered them to ensure they were not damaged from construction overspray. iTHINK Amphitheater is an open air arena and as such, is not well-protected from the wind and other natural elements. During the blasting and coating operations, high wind presented particular challenges, causing Champion crews to pause their work. During one forced weather delay, the containment had to be removed before the project was complete to allow the owner, Live Nation, to host a scheduled concert. Crews later remobilized the site to complete work in the ceiling.

New Partnership, New Opportunities

Champion and Clear Span Structures are continuing their partnership. Champion’s expertise will safeguard Clear Span’s client, Live Nation’s physical assets, allowing Live Nation to prioritize delivering world-class entertainment to its thousands of guests. Though weather provided significant challenges along the way, Champion minimized its impact as much as possible. Throughout the project, the Champion project manager stayed in close communication with the client to provide transparent assessments of the potential risks presented by the wind. As a result, the relationship between Champion and Clear Span is well-positioned for continued growth.

“The complexities of this project presented Champion with multiple challenges that will enable our crews to learn, grow, and perform at even higher standards in the future,” said Jack Spurling, Champion Project Manager.

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Project Details:

Project: iTHINK Financial Amphitheater

Client: South Florida Fairgrounds & Clear Span Structures

Size: 140,000 sq ft


Blasting & Coating