Construction Finance Fact: Stadium Bathrooms
In the past, we’ve discussed the history of indoor plumbing.
We have not, however, talked about the state of indoor plumbing today: Most of us, myself included, just sort of take it for granted. We have other things to worry about, and as long as everything works–which most of the time it does–the intricacies of bathroom finishes and local sewer systems are the furthest thing from our thoughts.
Even for those in the plumbing business, many restroom situations are pretty routine.
Houses. Gas stations. Grocery stores. Those all rely on systems that have been in place for more than fifty years, and aside from the occasional low-flow toilet or automatic faucet, there just don’t tend to be too many breakthroughs to report. Individual challenges pop up, but even those are hardly the purview of longform journalism.
In mass, however, bathrooms become far more complicated.
The potty at your house is designed to handle the needs of less than a dozen people.*
A gas station bathroom typically serves no more than three or four people at once.
Sports stadiums, on the other hand, are designed to hold tens of thousands of people for hours at a time. Moreover, they are designed to hold tens of thousands of people who’ve spent all day drinking beer and eating chili dogs.
Now, I don’t want to discuss this in great detail, but as somebody who’s desk is located right across the hall from the office’s main restroom, I can vouch for the fact that even seven or eight men can…put a strain on both plumbing and delicate sensibilities.
Multiply that by 10,000, and you have quite the technical challenge.
Now, I’ll be the first to confess that until recently, I’d given very little thought to this marvel of modern plumbing.
Other people, however, have.
Last winter, ESPN put together a longform article on this very topic, and for those of you enjoy geeking out about such topics as much as I do, I can’t recommend it enough.
*Hopefully far less. A household with twelve people and one bathroom is a household for people far braver than myself.