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Transforming a tent into an iconic blue gift box

Event Production, Project Briefs | August 1, 2013 | By:

Arena Americas overcomes installation challenges at New York City’s Rock Center.

To pull off an event at Rockefeller Center in New York City you have to have experience, ingenuity and vision. Arena Americas—formerly Karl’s Event Services—has been in the business since 1966 and has provided structures for major events at the historic venue, including Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week and 2012 Super Bowl XLVI coverage and festivities.

Most recently the company provided the structure for the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Gala at Rockefeller Center, an annual event during which Tiffany’s showcases its rare and beautiful gems—featuring an entrance to the center that was enhanced by a giant replica of Tiffany & Co.’s trademark blue gift box and white bow. For the 2013 event, a crew of more than 20 managed the street activities and installed the entrance during six overnight shifts so daytime activities at Rockefeller Center would not be disrupted. Arena Americas manufactured and installed the custom 39-by-39-meter structure with a 12-degree roof pitch with multiple height legs based on site elevations. Arena Americas designed and executed elements including the tent structure, facade, climate control and custom liners.

The crew built the arches in the street and craned them into place over the pit. They used man lifts inside the pit to install the purlins once the arch was in place and then attached it to the base plate. “Tight loading and unloading conditions, craning structure trusses in from the street, weighting the structure and building over the pit at Rock Center were all challenging aspects of the job,” says Arena’s Jim Koza, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Experience at the venue, strength of our network and design/build capabilities with a strong past performance were factors that helped us land and execute the job. Plus we have our own in-house design team that is an asset to projects like this.

“When we do unique events like this we almost always have clients come to us and say, ‘I didn’t know you could do that!’ We love doing unique events that impress our clients and the public,” he says.

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