When the team at Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves, decided to partner with Cartoon Network, they called on Dillon Works to create a kid-centric experience that would draw families down to an under performing area of the baseball stadium. The sheer scale of the Tooner field project, roughly ten thousand square feet of exterior murals and eight separate interior play areas for kids, would have been enough to give anyone pause. The fact that phase one needed to be installed by the beginning of preseason, a mere twelve weeks away, probably warranted a heart attack. We were game…so to speak.
Conceived as enormous “billboards” that could be attached to the existing structures, we designed the exterior scenery in layers that would overlap at the edges to conceal seams. This method also allowed for quicker code compliance and greater ease of shipping and installation. Another challenge was translating some of the cartoon buildings, which being cartoons, did not take into account things like structural engineering, or wind loads, or for that matter, the basic laws of physics. All told, Tooner Field would consist of more than seventy-two tons of themed scenery. We had it all up by the first pitch of opening day. How’s that for heavy hitting?
It’s easy to appreciate the bright colors and wacky geometry of a project like Tooner Field. What you don’t see are the thousands of hours dedicated to the scheduling, organizing and delivery of the job. The management of such a project requires an alchemy all its own and a carefully constructed operational machine to support it. We’ve been fine-tuning ours for almost thirty years.