PHILADELPHIA, PA — The NFL's Cleveland Browns have hired Elliott-Lewis Corporation of Philadelphia to operate and maintain critical facilities in the team's $290 million stadium. This is the expansion team's fourth season in the stadium, built on the site of the old Municipal Stadium.

Elliott-Lewis operates, maintains, and repairs the stadium's HVAC equipment; its electrical fixtures, including the 592 light fixtures that provide field lighting; the plumbing systems; high and low voltage service; network cabling; smoke exhaust systems; as well as general maintenance throughout the stadium, including deluxe suites, restaurants, clubs, restrooms, offices, and parking.

William R. Sautter, Elliott-Lewis president, said the firm has experience managing large facilities, such as the stadium. For example, it also manages the Philadelphia International Airport, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and the City of Philadelphia's Center City office complex, the Independence Blue Cross office complex, as well as a number of other facilities.

Sautter said the Browns stadium poses some unique challenges for his company.

"Maintaining and operating a football stadium is much different than an office complex. A football stadium is in full operation only one day a week over a four-month period, while airports and office facilities operate daily. This means even a minor breakdown on game day has serious consequences. The fans don't want to think about the elevators, or the plumbing, or the lighting. They simply want to enjoy the game," he said.

"Our job is to make sure that when the Browns play everything in the stadium operates smoothly, whether that is during the mild days of autumn or the bitter cold of a Cleveland winter," Sautter added.

During the NFL's off-season most of the facilities continue to be in use. The stadium has hosted several large concerts and is used as a practice facility for the football team. The Browns "Team Shop" is also open year-round.

Elliott-Lewis was founded in 1905 to construct electric facilities and provide service in Philadelphia and other municipalities. By the mid-1930s the company had expanded into other fields, eventually becoming a major distributor of oil burners. Today it offers a full-range of HVAC services, design-build construction, as well as industrial and commercial maintenance.

Publication date: 12/09/2002