Veterans Arena Upgrade

Jacksonville, Fla., engineers and SMG officials are putting their heads together so patrons of the city’s Veterans Memorial Arena won’t find water dripping on theirs.

Inspectors have identified condensation issues in the SMG-operated building, built in 2003, and recommended some fine-tuning of the air conditioning system.

SMG’s Bob Downey, GM of the 15,000-capacity facility, said officials requested an inspection of areas in the arena where the chilled water cooling system could create condensation.

“We’re still a new arena and we’ve been aware of this problem for a while. The city engineers came in and looked at what we thought was not a major problem but something we wanted to address,” Downey told Pollstar.

“Their determination was that some additional insulation in the ducts that feed the cool air into the building and some added insulation in the upper building [is needed].

The GM said the facility’s chilled water cooling method, supplied through an external plant, requires burning gas to heat the air and remove the humidity that can cause condensation to form. The new insulation will make that process more efficient and help keep costs down.

The city inspector’s report also notes that there is no insulation in the exterior walls, and water is seeping into the walls of the elevator shafts, according to the area’s First Coast News. The report also claimed that doors left open during load-ins help create condensation problems inside when the air conditioning is on.

The city is currently accepting bids for the job, which is estimated to cost up to $100,000.

“We’re really just tapping into money left over from the [arena] project in getting the city to make these adjustments,” Downey said. “We’ve lived with it for two years and we haven’t had an incident of anybody getting dripped on.” Downey said the work will be scheduled around events on the books, which includes a two-night stand by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw May 28-29.

– Tina Amendola