Although the new Yankee Stadium mimics the same legendary look and feel of the original “House That Ruth Built,” the $1.3 billion ballpark features the latest technology, including a “major league” steel coating system from Tnemec Company. “The coating project was very well planned,” according to Tnemec coating consultant Phil Gonnella. “The coordination between the steel fabricator and field applicator was excellent.”
The coating specification was written by HOK Sport in Kansas City, Missouri, which is the industry leader in the design of professional baseball facilities and has been for the past 25 years. The project required more than 8,000 tons of architecturally exposed structural steel, which the fabricator prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3 Commercial Blast Cleaning. Next, the steel was primed with Series 90-97 Tneme-Zinc, a zinc-rich polyurethane with excellent corrosion resistance. Some of the steel also received a shop-applied coat of Series 1075U Endura-Shield II, an aliphatic acrylic polyurethane that is highly resistant to abrasion, wet conditions, exterior weathering and ultraviolet light.
“There was a lead time of up to one year between the time steel was shipped from the fabricator and the application of the intermediate and finish coats in the field,” Gonnella noted. “Years ago, such a long lead time might have made it difficult for the topcoat to adhere to the shop-applied coating underneath it. That’s not an issue with this coating system, which is one of the reasons Tnemec was selected for this project. The recoat window on both Tneme-Zinc and Endura-Shield II was very good.”
Prior to field application, the steel was pressure-washed at 5,000 psi with a zero-degree spinner tip, followed by power tool cleaning at connections and bare steel. Steel that came from the fabricator with only the Tneme-Zinc primer received either two coats of Series 1075U, or a tie-coat of Series 27 F.C. Typoxy, a polyamide epoxy, and a finish coat of Series 1075U. Steel that came from the fabricator coated with both Series 90-97 and Series 1075U received a finish coat of Series 1075U. The intermediate and topcoats were applied using spray equipment or by brush and roller, depending on where in the stadium the steel was located. Series 394 PerimePrime, a micaceous iron oxide and zinc-filled polyurethane primer, was used for touch-up work on bolts.
Nearly 8,000 gallons of primer and more than 12,000 gallons of intermediate and finish coatings were required to complete the project, according to Gonnella. “I can’t remember a job with so few issues from the other trades,” he added. “That happened because the field applicator and the other trades worked out an acceptable arrangement for when they could paint. There weren’t any problems.”
The 53,000-seat open-air ballpark features 51 luxury suites, two large outdoor suites and eight party suites. The granite and limestone exterior is modeled after the original Yankee Stadium when it opened in 1923 prior to being remodeled in the 1970s.