Grave Digger, Zombie, Monster Energy oh my!
Fiserv Forum has transformed its arena into a dirt track for its Monster Jam Triple Threat Series event January 18-19.
“It looks a little better with dirt in here right now,” Kenny Henry, track construction manager for Feld Entertainment, Monster Jam, says.
Milwaukee is only one of many stops along the yearlong Monster Jam tour that travels around the country.
Sixty truckloads of dirt, all brought in by a local contractor just south of the Mitchell International Airport, were unloaded early Thursday morning, which kicked off the start of a ten-hour construction project. It takes 40 crew members roughly six hours to bring in all the dirt and four to build the track and ramps.
Before each show, Henry finds a local contractor that has quality clay base material. Sand is placed on top of the dirt to allow the trucks to perform better.
“Every city that we go to, I find a good local contractor that has the quality dirt that we need to build this track. They get the dirt in and we build and sculpt everything.” Henry says.
Each Monster Jam show takes close to three months to prepare from a construction and operational standpoint. Work – like securing the safety zones that surround the pit – continues through the day before the show.
This is the second dirt event Fiserv Forum has hosted since its August 26 opening. The first was the 25th Professional Bull Riders event in October.
The shows will last around two hours and will feature eight male and female Monster Jam athletes in six different competitions fighting for the championship. The monstrous machines are 12,000 pounds and can go up to 70 miles per hour. Three different kinds of trucks will be ready to show off to fans: Monster Truck Speedsters, Monster Jams ATVs and the iconic Monster Jam trucks, like the purple and green Grave Digger.
Henry says freestyle is a fan favorite.
“At the beginning of the show, they’re going to see them racing. Then there will be a two-wheeled skills competition, and then free style comes around and everyone goes crazy for that. We bring out a crush car so you’ll see a Monster Jam truck going over crush cars.” Henry says.
Flips, races and freestyle driving aside, the greatest trick of all may be turning around the arena for an 11:00 a.m. Marquette University men’s basketball game. An additional 80 workers will be implemented in the cleanup process. The dirt will begin to disappear from the arena around 10 p.m. after Monster Jam’s Saturday night show and will be cleared before 2 a.m. rolls around so that basketball preparation can begin.
Monster Jam tickets can be bought for $19, and general pit party passes start at only $20. There is one show Friday night and two shows on Saturday.