An Inside Look at What Goes Into Floor Cleaning a Stadium or Arena

September may sadly mark the end of the summer season, but for sports fans it’s one of the best months of the year. Major league baseball is gearing up for the playoffs. Both college football and the NFL kick off their seasons. And NHL players hit the ice in the first few days of October.

Fans of these sports flock to their local stadiums and arenas to cheer on their favorite teams with unbridled optimism, hoping this is the year where they go all the way. But even if the team falls short of victory, the experience of going to a game is just a whole lot of fun.

One thing fans may not think about as they’re jumping up and down with a tray of nachos after a late-game touchdown or spilling a drink while lamenting a penalty after the opposing team scores on a power play: Who the heck cleans this place?

Tackling the Task of Cleaning a Major Sports Venue

As a company that provides carpet and floor cleaning services to major facilities like Nissan Stadium (where the Tennessee Titans play) and Bridgestone Arena (where the Nashville Predators play), we can tell you one thing: Cleaning stadiums and arenas is a big job.

The seats, restrooms, floors, carpets, locker rooms, and more all need to be cleaned after a game. The trash needs to be taken out. Basically, it’s like cleaning up after a party attended by thousands of people. That requires of lot of different teams and professionals, and a lot of coordination on the part of facility managers.

For our part at Nissan Stadium, we clean certain areas—including the locker rooms—after every game.

Getting Blitzed by Dirt and Food on Game Day

One of the biggest challenges of cleaning stadiums and arenas is the sheer volume of dirt that moves through the facility on game day. Here are some numbers for context:

  • During the 2016-17 regular season, average attendance for Predators games at Bridgestone Arena was 17,159 people per game
  • The Tennessee Titans had more than 69,000 fans at their 2017 home opener at Nissan Stadium

Think about how much dirt 100 people drag into an office building on their feet. Now think about how much dirt 10,000 people would drag in and you get an idea of the extensive cleaning efforts required at stadiums and arenas.

Of course, the other major challenge is food. Stadiums and arenas are much like restaurants one day a week—there are a lot of food stains (including some tough-to-remove ones like ketchup, mustard, and nacho cheese). For that reason alone, arenas and stadiums are more challenging to clean than most businesses.

Cleaning and Maintenance Don’t Get a Time Out

CJ Williams cleans Bridgestone Arena before the start of the Predators hockey season.

Another notable element is the continual amount of foot traffic stadiums and arenas see. Keep in mind, most major sports venues are used well beyond just game day—they also host concerts and other events there. So it’s not just the volume of traffic, the frequency of traffic is a major factor in cleaning too.

As Walter Overton, the General Manager at Nissan Stadium, told us:

“Nissan Stadium not only houses an NFL team, but also a college football team (the Tennessee State Tigers). We’re also more than a football stadium; we’re an entertainment facility. We host concerts, car shows, and other events that keep us very busy in the off-season.”

The same goes for Bridgestone Arena. Tim Friedenberger, Vice President of Facility Operations with Powers Management, shared:

“When you have a string of events over a four-day period—say hockey, to a dirt show like Monster Jam, to a concert and then back to hockey—it can be very challenging.”

So stadiums and arenas are spaces that really need to be cleaned a lot on a pretty frequent basis in order to be properly maintained, especially when it comes to elements like carpets and floors.

Scoring with Fans by Providing an Excellent Experience

While regularly cleaning a stadium or arena is a lot of work, it’s also critical to the continuing success of these facilities. As Tim Friedenberger told us: “Having a clean building is paramount to our business. A clean building helps sell sponsorships and season tickets. Having a clean building makes booking the facility events easier.”

Walking into a clean stadium or arena is an important part of the fan experience. Sports fans take great pride in the “home field”. It’s imperative to give them a space that reflects that pride; a place where they want to spend their time and money. And, ultimately, nothing fuels a team to victory quite like the cheers of thousands of excited fans.

Best of luck to the Titans and Predators this season. We’re rooting for you!