A touchdown for tough customers Even on a non-game day, the roar of die-hard football fans reverberates throughout Gridiron Square. The retail space was created within the Cleveland Browns' new high-tech stadium to provide a place where fans could express team spirit outside of bleachers and enjoy clubhouse amenities without loge or skybox-like fees. In the category of New or Renovated Specialty Stores (over 5,000 sq. ft.), Retail Planning Associates, Columbus, Ohio, was awarded the 2000 SADI for its design work on the project.

The design of Gridiron Square had to accommodate two different traffic patterns, one on game day, when fans enter by thousands from the concourse. The other patterns occurs on non-game days, when fans enter from the stadium front. The space's cathedral-high ceilings called for a colossal graphic communication system that would inspire rather than overwhelm. The solution included huge banners using sepia-tinted archival Browns photography and pantograph-mounted monitors.

Fixtures and furniture contribute to Gridiron Square's pigskin theme. Fixtures are solid, stacked and tough, like a defensive lineup. Fixture endpieces are made of a metal mesh that resembles locker room equipment cages. Chair backs in the restaurant look like sideline down markers. Blasted steel and natural wood finishes paired with brown-and-white checkered, sealed concrete floors say hip, gridiron-tough and urban all at once.

AWARD RECIPIENT RETAIL PLANNING ASSOCIATES Columbus, Ohio * rpaworldwide.com Diane Perduk Rambo (senior vice president, creative director); Nick Baughman (senior merchandiser/planner); Paul Hamilton (senior environmental designer); Joanne Putka (environmental designer); Paul Teeples, Stacy Buttari and Andy Kranek (graphic designers); Rich Hennosy and Kathy DiMascio (graphic production); Dana Fleming (merchandiser); Bill Witherup (planner); Perry Kotick (senior lighting designer)

CLIENT THE CLEVELAND BROWNS Cleveland Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: Matrix Fixtures, Hastings on Hudson, New York (fixtures); Invia Industries, Butler, Pa. (custom lighting); Indy Lighting, Indianapolis (custom lighting); Metromedia Technologies, Wooster, Ohio (canvas focal graphics); Capital City Awning, Columbus, Ohio (canvas focal graphics); Robelan, New York (pole fixturing system); AdMart, Danville, Ky. (dimensional letters for museum wallpaper); Allermuir, Lancashire, England (furnishings); Harbinger Co., Atlanta (carpet); Optic Nerve, Columbus, Ohio (painted, sealed concrete flooring)