Like many Illinois residents, the Coin-O-Matic team loves cheering on our favorite NFL team — the Chicago Bears! However, our crew gets a unique perspective that most football fans don’t ever see. Have you ever wondered what the laundry room looks like for a professional football team? We recently had the opportunity to upgrade the Bears' laundry room with state-of-the-art Speed Queen commercial laundry equipment, building on a business partnership that has spanned more than two decades.
Before we dive into the recent project, let’s get you up to speed. To date, Coin-O-Matic has done six major laundry room projects with the Chicago Bears.
The first laundry project was a complete laundry room rehabilitation in 1987 at the original Halas Hall facility at Lake Forest College.
The second major project was a complete laundry room supply in 1997 when the team built the permanent Halas Hall and current facilities in Lake Forest, Illinois.
The third project was a complete laundry room rehabilitation in 2000 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where the Bears formerly held summer training camps.
The fourth project was the Soldier Field renovation in 2002. Coin-O-Matic supplied the laundry room build-out during the upgrade.
2014 and 2015 marked our fifth major project with the team. We resupplied Halas Hall with new Speed Queen washers and dryers.
That brings us to 2019. We just completed our sixth major project — a laundry room expansion at Halas Hall that increased the laundry room capacity by 85%. While increasing wash capacity, we also wanted to maintain a dry-to-wash capacity of a 2:1 ratio (a 2 lb. dryer capacity for every 1 lb. of wash capacity ensures perfect laundry room performance).
To achieve this goal, we had to uninstall, move, and then reinstall three Speed Queen 55 lb. washers and five 75 lb. dryers from the existing laundry room to the new laundry room within the Halas Hall expansion. We also added two new Speed Queen 70 lb. soft-mount washers and two new Speed Queen 120 lb. drying tumblers. For this project, and for previous work, the Chicago Bears opted for soft-mount washers because of the high extraction speeds, which reduce moisture content and shorten dry times. That, in turn, leads to increased laundry room efficiency, lower labor costs, and increased linen longevity.
One of our main challenges with this recent project was aesthetics. The architects did not want the dryer vents to be visible from the outside of the building, so they installed a highly sophisticated 30-foot high forced air system through the middle of the structure to the roof. After many meetings and some strategic planning, we achieved 100% efficiency — even with the complicated system!
We’ve very proud of our work with the Chicago Bears and love working with Tony Medlin, the team’s equipment manager. We wish the team the best of luck this season and can’t wait to cheer them on!
If you’re looking for high-quality commercial laundry equipment for your fitness center in the Illinois area, we’d love to partner with you.
“Please have any client call me for a reference. With the Chicago Bears, it’s all about people, and we love Coin-O-Matic’s friendly/can-do personnel.”