Although Taylor Bigley of Awnings by Bigley and Hogshire played lacrosse in college, he keeps a baseball quotation hanging above his desk: “You can’t steal second base while keeping your foot on first.”
It embodies his business philosophy, which manifests itself in the wide variety of projects he’s willing to take on no matter how challenging.
So when NBC Sports needed a movable on-field broadcast booth that its commentators could use during pregame and half time broadcasts from University of Notre Dame football games, he jumped at the chance.
Bigley’s shop, located in Newport News, Va., worked with Applied Electronics, a neighboring business with which they frequently collaborate, to design and build the booth. It has to be able to fold down to below six feet in height so fans can see over it during games, but expand quickly so broadcasters can take the stage during game breaks.
Applied Electronics, which initially received the request from an NBC Sports design consultant, designed the stage, hand cranks and trussing that creates a solid platform, while Bigley’s shop created the canopy and fabric coverings for the top, and a stage skirt that surrounds the platform. Working together they turned the project around from approved concept to completion in just five days.
“We’ve done unusual things like mobile car wash retractable awnings, but nothing this detailed, with so many design criteria built from the ground up.” Bigley said.
In addition to being able to fold down, the hood of the booth needs to resist wind movement that wouldn’t look good on camera, and also keep the broadcast talent and expensive equipment dry.
Bigley’s shop fabricated the booth’s cover from Deepsea Blue Weblon® Coastline Plus® fabric, ideal for applying graphics and resisting rain, ice and snow; plus, it’s fire retardant.
The top is made from three pieces of fabric, so it can fold down and be cranked up without becoming baggy. Bigley’s shop created an internal fabric gutter using No. 555 trailer molding to channel rain water away from the stage.
“The final design proved to be very good looking and can be cranked up in just a minute,” Bigley said. “We’ve already received calls from others in the pro sports and broadcast industry interested in a similar stage.”
Products used in the broadcast booth:
- Deepsea Blue Weblon Coastline Plus
- No. 555 trailer molding
- Aluminum tubing