Interview with Dan Overholt: Working on the New Phoenix Sun’s Arena: Arizona Footprint Center
March 04, 2022
We interviewed Dan Overholt, Senior Project Manager at DP Electric. Even with 23 years of experience in the electrical business, Dan share’s that DP Electric’s work on the Phoenix Sun’s Arena, Footprint Center was one of his favorite projects of his career–and one of the fastest turnarounds with only nine weeks to complete the job.
BUILD YOUR FUTURE ARIZONA: What role did DP Electric have in the remodel of the Phoenix Sun’s arena, Footprint Center?
DAN OVERHOLT: DP Electric was responsible for electrical, lighting and power for two suite level floors, after the Phoenix Suns decided to completely remodel 64 luxury suites. Our work included upgrading suites and the areas around them: lounge areas, food service areas and four main bar areas. We were also responsible for electrical, lighting and power on the Upper Concourse Level, which included corridor areas and a new dining court.
BYFAZ: Tell us about the team that worked on this project.
DAN: On the management side it was myself, an assistant project manager and a project engineer. In the field we had a lead general foreman and multiple crew foreman and at our peak, we had 75 electricians. For over 20% of the crew, this was the first time they were on a large scale project.
BYFAZ: How did this job differ from others?
DAN: We started the job in late 2021, and we were not able to do any work in the suites because the basketball season was ongoing, and the suites needed to be available for fans. We couldn’t begin work until the season ended and the Phoenix Suns went all the way to the finals which is amazing –but also meant we were left with only 9 weeks to demolish and rebuild 64 luxury suites. Because the work we do is very high end, luxury finishes and lighting were difficult to install, creating a real challenge for everyone to complete the job in the 9-week timeline. On top of this, last year was challenging to get materials with supply chain delays. But everyone was able to do it and the project was really successful.
BYFAZ: With every game the Suns won in 2021, your timeline was pushed back. How did DP Electric handle this challenge?
DAN: The end date was never adjusted even though the timeline was pushed back. For all projects we work on, we develop the timeline using pull planning, or working backwards from the last responsible date to accomplish any particular task to see when we can start, when we should start, and when we’re going to be late. We hope for best case scenario, but always plan for the worst so we’re prepared for everything.
BYFAZ: When you or someone you know attends an event at the Phoenix Sun’s arena, Footprint Center, tell me what it’s like to know you had a role in bringing the building to life.
DAN: It was such a great opportunity to be a part of. Not only is it a beautiful space, but just to be able to look at it and say you a part of something that will last the next 25 years in a professional sports arena is definitely a moment that you can feel proud of what you do for a living.
BYFAZ: What kind of legacy do you feel your work leaves on the state of Arizona?
DAN: When people get to go inside the arena, maybe for the first time, how beautiful it is on the inside and how amazing the full remodel, not just what we did, is. Usually in construction your work is visible in a building that wasn’t there before, but this one is so special because people get to walk in and have that moment of “Wow, this is a really cool place to be.”
The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s Construction Workforce Initiative, Build Your Future Arizona’s mission is to create a sustainable and skilled craft workforce by creating awareness about high paying construction careers, training opportunities and mapping career paths to employment in these high demand occupations. To receive personalized information about career and training opportunities from Build Your Future Arizona and our partners, visit byfaz.org/buildyourfuture.