Sports/Entertainment Best Project: Daily's Place and Covered Flex Field
Daily’s Place and Covered Flex Field
Owner: Jacksonville Jaguars LLC
Lead Design Firm: Populous
General Contractor: AECOM Hunt-Danis, a Joint Venture
Construction Manager: AECOM
Civil Engineer: ETM Inc.
Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore and Associates Inc.
MEP Engineer: ME Engineers
Attached to TIAA Bank Field—the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars—Daily’s Place Amphitheater and Covered Flex Field boasts a unique combination of uses. Underneath a flowing roof that covers both structures, the 89,000-sq-ft Flex Field and 5,500-seat amphitheater functions as both a state-of-the-art entertainment venue and NFL indoor practice facility. Flex Field includes a regulation-size football field with auxiliary space around the artificial playing surface allowing for indoor practices by the Jaguars during inclement weather.
Inspired by Jacksonville’s vast array of estuaries and long-span steel truss bridges over the St. Johns River, the singular long-span roof covering both the practice field and amphitheater consists of 3,000 tons of structural steel that support a PTFE membrane totaling 158,000 sq ft. Rising to a peak of 80 ft and capable of withstanding 135 mph winds, the PTFE fabric is suspended from 430-ft-long structural steel trusses supporting an array of structural steel v-columns. The roof links the steel beams with the PTFE membrane, which was placed on the underside of the structure—the first known configuration of this type.
Exposed steel trusses on the top side of the roof membrane blend the amphitheater’s exterior architecture with the adjacent stadium scoreboard structure. As right angles are rare in nature, the combined structure was designed with no perpendicular steel components.
Massive airplane hangar doors flank the north and south sides of the Flex Field, which can be used independently or opened up to the amphitheater via a sliding door behind the 2,400-sq-ft stage. Along the property’s south side, four more sliding doors can open to create an open-air experience measuring 222 ft wide.
When the doors are closed to Flex Field, the space is fully climate controlled. Thanks to these retractable walls, the venue can be transformed into a multi-use facility for concerts, conferences and exhibitions.
Meticulous planning allowed the complex to be completed just nine months after breaking ground despite the challenges of working around the Jaguars’ game schedule and other events as well as a week of work lost due to site flooding resulting from Hurricane Matthew. Nevertheless, the contractor’s safety program resulted in a total of 325,000 work-hours without a lost-time accident.