Meet the Solihull company that designs the FLOORS for the Commonwealth Games – and it’s not a boring job

One of the flooring suppliers for the Commonwealth Games remains anchored ahead of supplying new flooring for the multi-sport event. Neon Arena Services, based in Solihull, will manufacture new floors for the badminton event at the NEC this summer.

The company has already completed pitches for the 2002 and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Glasgow. The two netball courts will be used as basements for badminton events, with the company also supplying floors for table tennis and para-table tennis.

Negotiations with Birmingham 2022 lasted six months before Neon Arena Services secured their contract. General Manager Nick East started Neon Arena Services in 2002 and talked about the bidding process.

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“We approached Birmingham 2022 and asked for delays. Because of Covid, everything was quite delayed,” he said.

“During the pandemic, this allowed me and Sarah to spend weeks and weeks on the bidding process. Compared to Glasgow 2014, it’s a totally different animal.

A Neon Arena Services floor used at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

“For Glasgow, we were asked a few questions about whether we could do it and we did a build test to show we could. Lo and behold, it’s different.

“There are a lot of aspects that had to be done for the social aspect, what we had to bring back to the community.

Events manager Sarah Grove added: “We had to go to the Commonwealth Games social values ​​portal where you identify what you bring back to the community. It is in terms of training, opportunities and financial benefits.

“We publish quarterly reports on the staff we hire, full-time contracts, as well as elements related to diversity, inclusiveness and equality. We have a wide range of employees from different backgrounds, so we report to Birmingham 2022 on a quarterly basis. »

The floors are currently manufactured by floor manufacturers Junckers in Køge, just outside Copenhagen, with Neon Arena Services receiving the floors in the summer. The badminton floor will be leased by Birmingham 2022 as part of the Games, but the floor is owned by Neon Arena Services and will be used as a legacy floor for future events.

Neon Arena Services staff refurbish a floor
Neon Arena Services staff refurbish a floor

A floor to be used for table tennis events has also been produced by Neon Arena Services and will be sold at Birmingham 2022 as part of the Games. It is hoped that the floor can be redeemed at Birmingham 2022 as another legacy floor.

Speaking of the process, Nick spoke of the difference at the NEC when the Games come to town. With summer usually being the quiet time for the business, Nick is on track before the Games to make sure everything goes smoothly.

“It (the Games) will be slightly different, we normally run this place with an NEC ID and our vehicles can go anywhere. When the Games come, like in Glasgow, everything is locked down,” he said.

“Our idea for us is to have all our floors built before the start of the Games. We get all of our access and we do.

“We also have another contract with Birmingham 2022 where we will provide the crew during the events. But these are the same principles we apply every day, but on a larger scale.

“We don’t do outdoor festivals, our work is only live music and indoor sports. So summer is usually our quiet time.

“This year we are three times bigger than we were before Covid. We regularly recruit and hire people and this time we can continue that during the summer.

Work will begin for Nick and his team from July 12 until the end of the Games on August 8. From there, it will continue into the indoor concert season for the band beginning in September.

Neon Arena Services recently provided forklift drivers and crew for the ‘Concert for Ukraine’ event at the NEC, the job lasting four days. Next up for Neon Arena Services on the sports calendar will be the Rugby League World Cup later this year, which runs from October 15 to November 19.

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Read more:Here are the England team swimmers making a splash at Birmingham 2022

Watch:Birmingham 2022 unites with the Sikh community for a festival of South Asian culture at Walsall Stadium

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