The 167,000-square-foot Moody Coliseum, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU), regularly draws crowds well into the thousands. For decades, the facility has been a hub for collegiate and professional sports, community events and concert performances from the likes of the Rolling Stones, U2 and Pearl Jam. Those types of activities weighed heavily into SMU’s decision to select a permanent wood floor that could increase the safety of its athletes as well as withstand the heavy traffic from visitors attending various events.
Jason Nelson, Director of Event Operations for SMU, said numerous factors came into play when selecting flooring as part of a $47 million renovation project that was unveiled in December 2013. The top priority was finding the best possible flooring for athletes, who are susceptible to injuries from playing on hard surfaces.
“We started the process by trying to find the best product we could put down,” Nelson said. “We were especially interested in a multipurpose permanent floor that is durable and easy to maintain. It needed to hold up to all the events that we’re hosting on it.”
The permanent flooring from Robbins Sports Surfaces met SMU’s demands for a quality wood floor that minimized the risk of injuries among athletes, as well as met SMU’s demands for a durable surface that could be easily maintained despite heavy traffic flowing into the facility.
The Robbins floor made an immediate impact, Nelson said. “The players could feel the difference the second they walked out. It’s an incredible difference.”
When selecting hardwood flooring for the Moody Coliseum, SMU executives had an immediate concern about minimizing the risks of injuries among its players, while ensuring optimal performance. “We had to think about the best interests of the players and their safety,” said Jason Nelson, director of event operations at SMU.
Safety is a primary concern among athletic directors and executives at all levels of sports — including intramural, club, collegiate and professional. Activities like basketball, volleyball and cheerleading, which involve jumping, quick spurts and abrupt stops, put athletes at risk for an extensive number of injuries, including those to the ankles, knees and hips.
Robbins Sports Surfaces, which has installed flooring for high school, college and pro teams, has devoted years of research into its flooring for various sports. The Robbins MVP and Bio Channel Star flooring installed in Moody Coliseum is specifically designed to reduce the risks for injuries through high-tech construction. The flooring features a Continuous Zero/GTM shockpad; a Continuous ¾”-inch plywood subfloor, 16-gauge steel anchor-channels and Continuous Strip® XL Maple — all of which provide strength, stability and uniformity, and takes into account the movements of players.
The floor’s construction allows for more bounce, Nelson noted. “You can feel it underneath your feet … it’s catering to your weight,” he said. “It’s an incredible difference. It will help prevent injuries … there’s less wear and tear on athletes with a 30-game schedule.”
Since it opened in 1953, the Moody Coliseum has been a popular destination for thousands of residents and out-of-town visitors. When it came time for the renovation — which expanded seating capacity to 7,000, SMU executives also had high expectations for flooring with high marks for durability. “It needed to handle regular heavy traffic,” Nelson said.
Prior to the installation of the permanent MVP flooring by Robbins Sports Surfaces, SMU used a portable wood floor. They regularly moved it based on different schedules in an effort to minimize damage to the surface.
“It was heavy and time consuming to take out and assemble,” Nelson recalled. “We had to do that three to four times during a season. We would put it in before the basketball season, and then take it out again for December graduation … and then take it back out for May graduation and leave it out for cheer camps and volleyball.”
The new Robbins flooring is able to stand up to regular use without losing the qualities that make it ideal for athletic performances. “We’re proud of our facility and the floor,” said Nelson, who has shown off the floor to other prospective clients interested in the Robbins product. “ We haven’t had any issues. It’s been great.”
In addition to reducing the risk of injury among athletes, Robbins MVP and Bio Channel Star has the added benefit of reducing athlete fatigue — a feature that allows for more endurance during play.