Super Bowl Makes Minneapolis the “Most Mobile-Friendly City” in US

One year before the Vikings’ 2017-2108 season even began, preparations were underway for Super Bowl 52 at U.S. Bank Stadium. With over $1 billion invested in permanent network upgrades and Advanced LTE technology, wireless data capacity was increased by 500%.

Preparing for Increased Data Usage

Verizon spent the past off-season increasing DAS capabilities by 48% to handle the exponential jump in traffic and now has over 100 DAS zones stadium-wide. Amidst the upgrade process, Verizon discovered that in-stadium DAS traffic for Vikings home games was greater than the previous Super Bowl in Houston.

On game day, there was over 50 terabytes of cellular data traffic, double the amount from the previous year. To put it in perspective, 50 TB is the equivalent of streaming HD video for 1,208 days straight. WiFi usage also broke the record held previously by last year’s Super Bowl, but numbers have yet to be released. Verizon experienced the highest average download speeds of all national carriers and was used by 57% of attendees, an annual growth of 12%. AT&T saw a slight decrease in in-stadium traffic but led all carriers in traffic outside of the
stadium. According to Verizon and AT&T, top uses for cellular data in and around the stadium included web browsing, video, social media, and other sports apps. The most significant uptick in wireless use was during the halftime performance followed by a large spike during kickoff.

Parsons is proud to have been involved with the design and implementation of these upgrades. Our dedicated field staff worked tirelessly with engineers and vendors to fine-tune and maintain these systems during events to ensure peak mobile performance at not just the Super Bowl, but all venues hosting an event during the week. This cutting-edge technology has made Minneapolis the most mobile-friendly city in the country and reaffirmed Parsons’ position as a premier mobile solutions contractor. Read Verizon’s full list of game-day facts here.

The Value of an Internship

This summer, in the midst of the $92.5 million renovations to the University of Minnesota’s Tate Science and Teaching building on the East Bank, Michael Obungen was gaining vital, real-world experience while completing necessary credits for his Construction Management major. As a Parsons summer intern, he was on site only weeks after applying for the position. The Tate building renovation began in September of 2015, so when Obungen came aboard in the summer of 2017, the project was nearing completion. As an intern, he was able to apply his recently acquired classroom knowledge to the job site and learn applicable skills.

“I found it amazing how all the stuff that we learned in the program was useful in the internship,” Michael says. “I’m assisting a project manager and a senior project manager for my internship.” His role onsite was to assist in the review of all electrical facets while becoming familiar with BIM 360 software, and communicating with project managers and other subcontractors to ensure everything was running according to plan.

Michael’s father is an electrician in the Seattle area, which is where he got his start. He would assist his father on projects until he joined the Army. After his time in the service, he moved to Minnesota to enroll in the U of M’s Construction Management program. His goal is to become a project engineer, and eventually a project manager with LEED certification to help create sustainable structures. “Being LEED certified adds credibility to your resume and shows that you want to build a sustainable world. Coming from Washington, I grew to appreciate the environment, so that sustainability piece is part of me.”

Read the full article posted by the University of Minnesota here. If you would like to learn more about our available internship and career opportunities, please check out our careers page for more information.

After Construction Week is Over, What’s Next?

Construction Week is wrapping up tomorrow, but skilled trade-workers are always in demand. Parsons is proud to be involved in numerous projects across the country. As the NFL season heats up, many stadiums rely on Parsons high quality service to operate at peak performance. Ford Field in Detroit recently underwent renovations, including the complete upgrade/replacement of their bowl audio system, a large broadcast cable upgrade, concourse & other internal audio system upgrades. Parsons not only delivered on our promise of excellent quality, but got the project done under budget and before the deadline.

Another Detroit project recently completed is the Little Caesars Arena, new home of two of Detroit’s professional teams; the Pistons and the Red Wings. The arena features a revolutionary design that could influence the future of stadium building in other cities. Little Caesars Arena seats up to 21,000 patrons during events, while also housing the practice facility of the Red Wings and Little Caesars AAA hockey club.

The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ recently worked with Parsons to install the largest center-hung scoreboard in all professional sports arenas, a title once held by Little Caesars Arena. Parsons also installed upgraded ribbon boards, all in record time.

A short trip from Parsons corporate headquarters, parts of the University of Minnesota Athletes Village finished up construction earlier this year, while additional parts are still being worked on. This $166 million, 340,000 sq. ft. project will establish modern development facilities for all Gopher student-athletes, while also bringing a competition-level track back to the University’s East Bank campus. Parsons was also a part of the Tate Hall renovations on the University of Minnesota campus this year.

Parsons is playing a part in the new $485 million Mercyhealth Hospital in Rockford, IL and the project is set to finish sometime in 2019. Construction on the 451,000 sq. ft. hospital and the 81,500 sq. ft. clinic will be simultaneous as the team works closely with Mortenson Construction on the monumental project.

We are also involved in the Mayo Clinic health system renovation in Mankato, MN. The $70 million remodel will include a $65 million surgical suite expansion, as well as a $5 million orthopedics and sports medicine renovation. There will be 14 new operating rooms, 43 new private postoperative patient rooms, and a sterile processing department. Progress is set to begin this year, with hopes that the project will be done by mid-2018.

In Milwaukee, another large project is well under way for the Bucks. The $524 million all-purpose arena will be the home court for the Milwaukee Bucks as soon as 2018. The brand new arena will also play host to the NCAA College Basketball tournament in the near future, as well as a full list of concerts in the upcoming year.

The Tesla Gigafactory located 23 miles West of Reno, Nevada, upon completion, will be one of the largest buildings in the world. At 15 million sq. ft. and toting a bill of over $5 billion, the Tesla project will be one for the record books. The purpose of Tesla’s Gigafactory will be to triple the battery production needed to power the number of projected Tesla cars in the future. This building is pivotal to the future of Tesla as it moves towards a larger production scale. If the projections are correct, the company would be able to triple its car output from 500,000 to over 1,500,000 at peak efficiency. The construction should conclude sometime during 2020.

Parsons is honored to be a part of these high profile projects. To wrap up National Construction Week, we wanted to highlight some landmark projects that would not come to fruition without dedicated construction teams. If you have been involved with any of these projects, thank you!