Once LeBron James rejected Cleveland, the town couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. Every trace of public adoration had to go.
Among the icons: a massive Nike advertisement called “Witness” that covered one side of the Sherwin-Williams Building, near Public Square.
Spider, a division of SafeWorks LLC, had provided the access equipment to install the 2,700-pound banner in 2005; last month, the company was called back to help take it down.
James announced July 8 that he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat in the 2010-11 NBA season. The announcement turned James’ hometown against him in a heartbeat.
Within 12 hours of that announcement, Spider mobilized a 40-foot swingstage powered by traction hoists to enable Bricklayers Inc. to immediately dismantle the mesh banner, which was 110 feet tall and 212 feet wide.
In addition to the urgency whipped up by the scorned fans, speed and safety were crucial requirements for the project. Transportation of Cleveland’s metro transit trains running directly beneath the banner had to be paused while the banner was removed.
Relocating Spider’s platform to various rigging locations enabled the contractor to work swiftly, minimizing the disruption to the transit traffic below. Precautions were also taken to ensure that the platform’s wire ropes did not interfere with the rail lines.
“Our Cleveland team rose to the occasion to immediately deliver a safe, reliable solution for this urgent situation,” said John Sotiroff, vice president, sales and distribution, for Spider, “impressing the contractor, building owner, and Cleveland fans who were eager to erase LeBron’s memories from their hometown.”
A video of the dismantling project can be seen at http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5369316.