Stadium seating pictures and stories

The stadium seating story

Or ("How I spent my Christmas Vacation")

If the JBL speaker was an adrenalin rush for complexity, the Rose Bowl program made up for it by defining "fast track".

When I arrived, the castings had been quoted from a set of very poor quality fax drawings. As the quoting progressed to the final two or three possible suppliers, we learned more about the scope and timing.

·        The Rose Bowl would only be available to install seating during a 6 week period beginning in February.

·        It would be the first time the customer had produced casting designs in CAD.

·        The customer was located in Australia.

·        The customer had never built tooling remote from their facility.

·        The die casting division did not at that time own an e-mail address and had only one computer with a modem.

·        Normal tool deliveries for the all 15 variations were quoted at 22 to 24 weeks.

·        It soon became apparent that the die cast tooling would have to be accelerated from normal deliveries.

·        Meanwhile the casting designs were still not complete.

·        Final casting drawings were released October 1, 1996.

The race was on! I expedited delivery by negotiating a bonus based on delivering 8 weeks early! The tool shop agreed to an "all or nothing" bonus, "ship sample castings by January 15th or loose the bonus."

·        CAD drawing files were transmitted from Australia to my AOL e-mail address.

·        Next the files were sent to the two U.S. tool builders.

·        The die cast tool was produced in Glendale, CA

Ejector half tooling

o       The trim tool was produced in St. Joseph, MI

·        First samples were produced on schedule January 14 and shipped to Australia on January 15th.

Not the prettiest casting yet, but only 8 minutes old!


·        The customer was ecstatic! Not only was it on time, but passed dimensional testing the first time.

They look much nicer when they're cleaned up and painted.

Among other things, I learned that Australia observes daylight savings time, however it is on the opposite schedule of ours in the Northern Hemisphere. This works to your advantage when you need to call them in the late afternoon. Also, Christmas falls in the middle of their summer and it is common for them to have a three week shutdown. The engineering manager and I exchanged home phone numbers and continued to communicate through the holidays.

Eventually similar castings would be produced by modifying the tooling. These would be used to produce seating for the following:

The Sleeptrain Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, California (San Diego area)

For enlarged views of the stadium click on the above photos.


AutoZone Park, Memphis, Tennessee

New projects:

Founders' Stadium: University of South Carolina "Gamecocks"

University of South Carolina, Gamecocks Baseball Stadium.

Completed Winter 2008/2009. 

If you have a fast track project you need expedited, contact us for engineering and project management.

Additional Casting examples, stories and case histories

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Updated: October 16, 2023

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