Stadiums arenas and sports venues come in many sizes. It is not a job that can be approached haphazardly, but demands planning, preparation, communication, coordination and the ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and requirements. The concepts outlined here are the same regardless of the size of the facility.
Primary factors impacting cleaning:
- Type of Event
- Set-up & Tear Down Requirements
- Cleaning Shifts
Break down of shifts:
- Pre-event Cleaning
- Event Cleaning
- Post Event Cleaning
- Next Event Scheduling
Warning: These are only guidelines based on my experience and the information I have been able to collect. The only true and accurate time standards are based on your staff’s performance and experience.
With a new facility over-staff by 40%. Use contracted labor, temporaries and part timers who can be sent home if not needed. Teams are typically assigned to specific area and group of tasks. Such as:
Picks up large debris in the bowl or seating area.
Use corn and push brooms to sweep across the rows of seating and then down the stairs to the main floor, or bag as you go when the pile gets too big.
Using air blowers, they clean up the smaller debris, also moving it down to the main floor. Note: this method should not be used if the seating is upholstered and the event was very dirty.
“Pressure Washers or Hosing”
Cleaning surfaces such as concrete, rubber, plastic, stairwells, etc. in areas with appropriate drainage.
“Rest Room Team”
These are critical areas that will generate complaints if not properly cleaned and stocked.
Responsible for the collecting, bagging, and disposal of trash, cardboard and other recycled materials.
Responsible for suites, boxes and offices, etc.
Facility sizes and attendance levels:
Arenas, coliseums, stadiums, gyms, etc. (Large indoor seating areas only; does not include suites, boxes, offices or rest rooms)
1000 & under 5-7 people
5000 & under 10-15 people
10,000 & under 15 people
20,000 & under 20 people
40,000 & under 30 people
65,000 & under 45-60 people
over 70,000 2 additional people for each 5,000 more attendees
Outdoor seating areas normally require approximately 30% fewer staff because water hose/pressure washers are generally used.
Staffing Guidelines for a 20,000 seat multi-purpose arena:
Heavy cleaning after a very dirty event, 35-40 people, approx. 288 hrs.
On the last night of any event, expect the event to run 30 to 60 minutes later than scheduled.
Private suites and boxes, 70 units: 32 hours over two nights, 2 people, 8 hrs. per shift
Rest Rooms—50 public sets, two sizes:
6-12 stalls, 15 minutes per rest room
20 stalls, 25 minutes per rest room
Total four people, 8 hrs. per shift, 2 person teams with one RR cart
trash, dust, and damp mop, 8 hrs. per level
- 1 working lead
- 2 vacuum positions
- 4 cleaners
- 8 hrs. Per person
Keep your options open. Don’t guarantee employees a set number of hours, because things often change.
Avoid including the cost of expendable supplies (paper, plastic, hand soap, etc.) in your price as these numbers are difficult validate and can vary widely in each facility.
Bidding and Costs
There are a number of different ways contractors use to calculate cleaning costs in sports facilities. In most cases it is not by the square foot as in other facilities, although office areas, floor care and carpet cleaning may be bid by the square foot.
A Pittsburgh, PA. contractor receives a set fee of $7500.00 for up to 12,000 attendees and 15 cents per person or $150.00 per thousand for attendance above the base rate. They use 15 trash pickers in the bowl area for 18,000 attendees. The desired full staffing level for a game with 20,000 in attendance would be 60 people for picking, blowing and hosing. They normally staff 45 cleaners for 12,000 people and over that add one cleaner for every additional 500 seats sold.
Twelve workers clean 125 boxes/suites in 8 hours; each box is about 400 sq. ft. The contractor is paid a flat rate of $8.00 per box or suite used. They use approximately 500 trash liners per game with 18,000 attendees.
In Atlanta, GA. a contractor has a cost plus with a cap type contract. They spend about $16,000 per game excluding paper supplies. In the off season, cleaning costs run about $18,000 per month. This stadium seats 50,000+ people and has 185,000-sq. ft. of office space that requires cleaning five days a week year-round. The contractor adds a 9% profit and 7% overhead fee to all costs.
During the off season, they keep a permanent staff of about 20 people to do offices, detail work and windows. They use 8 to 10 trash bags per seating section of 400 seats. The facility uses about $100,000 per year in paper and soap products, or about 2.5 cents per attendee per event.
If you’re a sports fan, you may get to see at least some of the game.
Note: There is no way to cover all the information needed to accurately bid on large complex properties such as stadiums, arenas and sports venues in short article. The information below was culled from a 5000+ word report. The full report is available for purchase online for $10.00 at the following link: