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Raise the roof: Montana steel on display at Super Bowl LIII

GREAT FALLS – From the outside, ADF International is just another industrial building people pass on the way out of Great Falls, but the inside tells a different story.

“They see a large building, a large yard and they think it’s impressive. But I don’t think they understand really the scope of the work we do in the projects we work on,” said Dan Rooney, President and General Manager of ADF International in Montana.

It is big, loud, and busy in the shop where pieces of steel are put together for larger projects like a puzzle.

ADF is constantly moving steel in one bay door and out the other – working hard to get projects done in a timely manner where precision is key.

“We have to be within about a sixteenth of an inch,” said Rooney.

One of the company’s most recent projects was providing pieces of steel to help build the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium played a pretty big role in the sporting world this year.

Not only is the stadium home to this year’s MLS champions, Atlanta United and Atlanta-based NFL team, the Falcons, but it was also the 2019 host of one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

Super Bowl LIII took place in the newly built stadium, and ADF played a role in the roof creation from pieces of steel they sent all the way from Montana to Atlanta.

Rooney said about 20,000 tons of steel went into the entire roof.

“We produced about five thousand pounds of it. And we produced a lot of the nodes that connected the trusses, so we might have had multiple trusses coming in at one point and that’s what we consider to be a node.”

Ross Masters is a Fabrication Foreman at ADF and a Great Falls native.

After working at the company since it was built in 2013, Masters said the pieces for the Mercedes-Benz Stadium were some of the most complex he has ever worked on.

“We are all very excited to see our end product go into that stadium. There are very few people who have the opportunity to have such an impact and such a visible impact,” Masters said.

“When people go to Atlanta, they see the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. They see something impressive. It’s not a normal commercial office building, and our guys here will certainly watch that game and be very proud of the part they played in that stadium,” he added.

ADF International of Montana is currently fabricating some of the steel being used to build the new Raider’s stadium in Las Vegas.

-Elizabeth Copeland reporting for MTN News
MTN News

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