Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, has been known by many names. When it was first built in 1987 it was called Joe Robbie Stadium, named after the first owner of the Miami Dolphins football team. Then it was named many variations: Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Land Shark Stadium, and Sun Life Stadium. In 2016, it was rebranded as Hard Rock Stadium.
With that rebranding came a name change on the stadium itself. The roof of the stadium needed two logos with the famous Hard Rock font and circle behind — each to be about 16,000 square feet (1,486.4 m²) — and they needed a superstar crew to complete the transformation.
The artwork will have a large audience — at the Orange Bowl, during aerial game shots — and it needed to look perfect.
For that perfect look, a team of contractors working on the stadium’s remodel turned to SRG Roofing. The Carrollton, Texas-based coatings contractor was founded in 2006 and started out by providing commercial, industrial, and multifamily roofing services in Texas. It has since expanded to work across the country.
“We have a partnership with the manufacturer that we are certified applicators with, and they approached us about the project,” said Kevin Kirkwood, the president of SRG Roofing of manufacturer National Coatings.
“We engaged the vice president and he took the ball and ran with it,” Kirkwood said.
River Tunnell from SRG Roofing oversaw the work on the logos, which provided plenty of challenges to overcome.
To start: the schedule. “Hard Rock had a strict deadline of when they needed the work to be done,” Kirkwood said. “We engaged a company that does stencils and huge graphic work, employed them, and they created the stencil. Then our team went up there and worked in 24-hour shifts to get the design just right.”
The total job — mirror image logos on either side of the stadium — was 31,000 square feet (2,880.0 m²), and it had to be done in 30 days. “It was done in 10 days,” Kirkwood said. “So it was ready to go for the home opener.”
The stadium’s location in hot and humid Florida brought additional hurdles to be overcome. The weather conditions meant a fast-setting roof coating was needed to ensure proper set-up and dry time. On top of that, the humidity meant biological growth on the stadium’s room, so that had to be controlled with the coating. Finally, the client wanted the logo to be dirt-resistant, so all those aerial shots would continue to pop.
To surmount these sticky specifications, the SRG Roofing team first power washed the roof. Then they started on mapping out the logo. They worked with a color specialist to perfectly match the colors in the logo.
“We made three compass lines using flight cables with grommets to achieve the circle rings,” Kirkwood said. “We had two custom templates made for the Hard Rock and the stadium logos, which we dropped into the outer circles after cleaning, priming, and [applying] basecoats. Both templates we made from a breathable banner material. We then hand traced each line using paint pens and then reverse taped each segment per color change throughout the project.”
After the logos were applied by the stenciling company, the SRG Roofing team used Firestone TPO (thermoplastic olefin) primer and AcryShield basecoat system, which began with two coats of AcryShield A602 Base Coat, each at an average of 12 mils (304.8 microns) thickness. Then they put down AcryShield A610 Quick Set in three passes, each at approximately 48 mils (1,219.2 microns) thickness. They used rollers and super spreaders from Roof Top Equipment to apply the coating.
“A super spreader is a cart with two large wheels holding a 24" [61.0 cm] carpet roll that soaks up the coating and disperses accordingly as the coating is rolled out,” Kirkwood explained. “The Super Spreader was handled by one operator; it can be pushed or pulled.”
While doing the job, the team used Raptor Safety mobile fall protection cart and Simplified Safety lifelines, and all 10 crew members wore hard hats, safety glasses, neoprene gloves, steel-toed boots, and all personal protective equipment required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Plus, a third-party safety consulting firm was on site at all times, Kirkwood said.
The Quick Set topcoat was used to provide ultraviolet (UV) protection, dirt resistance, longevity, and brightness, according to National Coatings’ material. True to the meaning of the name, the Quick Set roof coating allowed the coating to set up and skim within 30 minutes.
That was important because the job was done at the height of hurricane season in Florida, Kirkwood said. “There were an average of four monsoon rains and multiple lightning stand-downs every day throughout the project,” he said.
To work around the weather constraints, the team would just have to wait. “You’d get in a rhythm when you were working, then have to pull off, wait, and then re-prep,” Kirkwood said. “It was like walking through cement, two steps forward and one step back.”
But Kirkwood said he was never nervous that the job wouldn’t get done. “The team had to come together, had a goal in sight, and River [Tunnell] and his team did a phenomenal job,” he said. “The product stood up great.”
That was a good thing, because Hurricane Matthew hit the project four days after the job was done. “I have complete faith and trust in River and his team,” Kirkwood said. “I’m sure at the back of their minds every time the rain hit they were like, ‘oh crud, what’s about to happen,’ but I had faith the entire time.”
Kirkwood has gotten to admire his team’s work in person. He’s been to Hard Rock Stadium a few times and said it’s “pretty unique to see the transformation.”
Kirkwood said he’s continually reminded of the job because it hangs on a poster outside his office. And he believes that the job exemplifies SRG Roofing’s core values of integrity, accountability, innovation, and passion. “Our company and especially that region exhibited all four of them every single day,” he said. “It exemplified our core values in very public way, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”