Nearly 200 crew members will help take down the temporary cricket stadium at Eisenhower Park that hosted eight matches of the T20 World Cup. Credit: Newsday Studio

Workers have begun dismantling the 34,000-seat temporary cricket stadium in East Meadow’s Eisenhower Park that hosted eight matches of Men’s T20 World Cup this month.

In fact, Will Madison, national new business development manager for Arena Americas, the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, event infrastructure company that supplied the materials used in the stadium, said they began work to dismantle it minutes after the players left the pitch in India’s win over the United States last Wednesday. Under the agreement between Nassau County and tournament organizers, they have until July 31 to finish breakdown and will probably need every day, he said.

“The broadcasters started wrapping up and immediately, the Spidercam started coming down,” he said. That camera, mounted on a cable strung high over the pitch to give a bird’s-eye view of play, was one of the last elements of the build to go up before the stadium opened to the public.

Nassau County spokesman Chris Boyle did not respond to an email asking about public access to Eisenhower Park, but staffers at the park's golf courses, tennis courts and aquatic center said Monday those facilities were open. The driving range was also open. 

Workers disassemble the temporary cricket stadium at Eisenhower Park in...

Workers disassemble the temporary cricket stadium at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Monday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

In coming weeks, four 45-worker crews at Field 6, where the stadium was built, will work 12-hour days and six- and seven-day weeks with cranes, folk lifts and boom lifts, Madison said. They will strip the finishes and seats, then break down the bowl-shaped scaffold, 75feet high at its outer perimeter, that they built in about three months this spring.

News reports put construction cost at around $30 million, paid for by tournament organizers, but Newsday could not independently confirm that. Attendance across eight matches was 156,719, according to tournament organizers. Another roughly 8,000 people attended a June 1 friendly before the tournament started. 

“Everything comes down into a manageable section,” Madison said. “Chairs get broken into four seat rails. No scaffolding component is wider than 10 feet; the longest structural component is 16 feet. Flooring decks are 4 by  8 feet.” The machines only do so much. “All the racking and stacking ends up being done completely manually.”

How many girders, joints, railings, floor decks and seats will the workers take down? Madison said he had no idea, but offered some sense of scale. It took 100,000 plastic zip ties just to fasten the blue Nassau County scrim that ran around the stadium’s edge.

Components of the temporary stadium will be loaded onto 400 to 500 53-foot tractor trailers. That stage of the job is the most time-consuming. “It’s physically impossible to load that many trucks” as rapidly as the stadium is broken down, he said. “That is our bottleneck.”

Another complication is that when the trucks are loaded, they won’t all go to the same place. The black seats from the west grandstand are headed to Las Vegas for a Formula One car race. The blue seats in the east will go to Montreal, then down to Miami next year for another F1 race there. The substructure of the luxury pavilions is also headed to Montreal, soon to be used there for the Presidents Cup, a golf tournament. Some of the other material will go to warehouses in Milwaukee and Houston.

Madison said the last few months had gone well. “We had a pretty standard golf hospitality application that we were able to bring to the cricket world,” he said. “One thing that T20 nailed was the different tiers of offerings, which can be difficult for large public events.” Tournament organizers used Arena’s materials to “program five tiers of hospitality offerings,” he said.

Tickets for those offerings had ranged from under $100 to $10,000.

The brief life of Nassau County International Cricket Stadium could be seen as an experiment for fans and organizers of the second-most popular sport in the world, he said. “We were able to let them come in, test-drive every concept they can think of, figure out what works. Potentially, as the sport grows, it can move into a more permanent setting.”

Madison said he spent a fair amount of time during the tournament walking around under the scaffold looking for dropped cellphones and had gotten a good look at the grass.

“With some pretty heavy duty lawn mowing and some irrigation and sun, the park will be back to normal just as quickly as we put the stadium up,” he said.

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