AIT-Omaha Co-workers Help Swimming Fans Catch a Wave
USA Swimming’s Team Trials conclude on Sunday, July 3, marking the third time in a row the event has successfully taken place in Omaha, Nebraska. More than 200,000 spectators were on hand over the course of eight days to enjoy the quadrennial competition hosted by the Omaha Sports Commission with the experts at AIT Worldwide Logistics’ Omaha office serving as the Commission’s primary logistics partner.
Making Way for the Waves
Eagle-eyed fans who attended the sold-out events at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha this week may have noticed something missing from the main level of the arena.
To make room for the ten-lane competition pool, thousands of permanent seats that normally serve as the first ten rows of the arena were removed, loaded onto trailers and hauled back to AIT-Omaha’s facility for storage during the event. The temporarily displaced seating required an 8,000 square foot storage area, but with 250,000 square feet of warehouse space at their disposal, the AIT-Omaha team easily handled the task.
Lighting supports take shape on the floor of the CenturyLink Center Arena with the first ten rows of seating removed.
CenturyLink Center seating being stored in the warehouse on AIT-Omaha's 17-acre site.
Getting into the (Aqua) Zone
The athletes weren’t the only ones supported by world-class supply chain services. AIT-Omaha co-workers supported hundreds of thousands of swimming fans by handling logistics for the Aqua Zone – a 100,000 square foot area with exhibits and fun, interactive attractions. The Aqua Zone kept spectators engaged when they weren’t in their seats with activities including surf riding, log rolling, rock wall climbing, swimming treadmills and more.
As far back as the first week of June, inbound shipments from the 30+ Aqua Zone exhibitors started arriving at the AIT-Omaha warehouse. One week prior to the opening of the swim trials, AIT-Omaha co-workers began delivering the crated exhibits to Hall C of the CenturyLink Convention Center where materials were positioned for the individual assembly teams.
AIT-Omaha personnel load in Aqua Zone materials at CenturyLink Center.
Hall C in the convention center with the very first Aqua Zone exhibits beginning to take shape.
Swimming treadmills positioned inside the convention center hall for installation.
The fully installed swimming treadmills await their first guests.
We Don’t Coast, but We Do Surf
The centerpiece of the Aqua Zone was a FlowRider which allowed attendees to surf or ride a boogie board on a continuous wave. The 10,000 pound exhibit included a powerful motor and blower to keep the wave going and AIT-Omaha provided support to the FlowRider team with an extra heavy terrain forklift.
The FlowRider's 10,000 pound motor and blower being moved into position.
A terrain forklift procured by the AIT-Omaha crew supports the FlowRider's team during the final stages of assembly.
A visitor catches a FlowRider wave while riding a boogie board.
Aqua Zone guests try to maintain their balance at the log rolling exhibit.
In just four days, Hall C in the convention center had been transformed to become the Aqua Zone. Despite the tight schedule, AIT-Omaha’s efforts ensured that the “ultimate fan experience” was prepared to give the athletes a pre-competition sneak peek on Friday with the grand opening for the general public taking place the following day.
AIT congratulates the 1,800 swimmers who competed in Omaha, Nebraska over the past week for coveted spots on Team USA. On to Rio!
Coming soon: In the final chapter, the pools are drained, dismantled and shipped to their permanent homes as AIT-Omaha’s team works to return the CenturyLink Center to its normal state.
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