University of Nebraska

For the Cornhuskers at the University of Nebraska, seeing red is a wonderful thing. Every day, more than 600 student-athletes and 1,000 coaches, trainers, tutors and administrators walk through their massive athletic facilities and see a sea of beautiful, Nebraska Cornhusker red: Patcraft custom carpet tile.

When designing or renovating their one million square feet of athletic facilities, Maggi Thorne, Assistant Director, Capital Planning Construction for Nebraska Athletics and her team have chosen to install Patcraft custom carpet tile in a variety of engaging designs. These are busy places where student-athletes train, eat, study and hang out. The Lincoln campus also features coaches’ offices, the unique Student Life Center for academics, and hospitality areas for receptions, she says.

“For us, it’s important that the carpet be tried, tested and true,” says Maggi. Patcraft’s carpet has delivered on that promise. “Great patterns, color waves….it stands the test of time. We wouldn’t want to be sick of a carpet’s style after a few years. This carpet tile also stands up to the traffic and volume. Especially because these are high-use spaces, the carpet needs to be able to take stains, hold up and be easy to clean,” says Maggi, who has been at Nebraska Athletics since 2005. “We need the carpet to be recruit-ready and player-ready.”

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One of the busiest areas in the athletic facilities is the 4,000-square-foot training table, where student-athletes and, for one day a week, the general public, eat lunch and dinner. “It’s a real hub for student-athletes and staff, and it’s very high-volume,” says Maggi. “Over a thousand people a day come through our training table.”

In 2007, Maggi’s team searched for new carpeting options to make this important space bright and engaging, all while holding up to foot traffic, furniture movement and food spills. She talked with sales representatives from different companies about their products and how they held up, as well as to her own maintenance staff who spent each day cleaning carpet stains.

In the end, they chose Patcraft carpet tile that is durable and easy to clean, and customized with a pattern that also helps to conceal any small stains. “It’s held up really well in our training table,” Maggi notes.

In hospitality areas for more formal receptions, Maggi has also installed Patcraft custom carpet tile. She needed a product that would stand up to high-heeled shoes and food stains. In these premium areas, the carpet has survived everything from popcorn oil spills to dropped yellow mustard.

“Here, you don’t want a carpet with a lot of texture or pile height,” she says. “I needed a tight yarn that would hold up over time. I have received really positive feedback about it from everyone.”


Maggi and her boss are the final decision makers in designing their athletic facilities, but they often involve many other stakeholders in the process. She recalls lining the 75-yard hallway outside her office with rows of carpet tile samples when they were designing the Student Life Complex, a center for student-athlete academic activities. “It took three months to select a carpet!” Maggi says.

Patcraft’s customer service and easy customization options are what Maggi prizes most. She can change out the yarn in an existing carpet tile pattern to match the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ famous shade of red. Integrating the carpet design with their branding is a must, she says.

“Patcraft responds to our wants and needs as far as customization, and they have great customer service,” she says. “They are innovative. Their carpet tile patterns are practical. They will last the life of the carpet. It will hold up.” Patcraft’s cradle-to-cradle sustainability practices are also an appealing factor for Maggi’s team at Nebraska, where they build all facilities to meet high efficiency and environmental standards.

Durability of design and product makes Maggi a believer in Patcraft’s custom carpet tile.

“It stands the test of time,” she says. “When we renovated our training table in 2009 and 2010, the carpet tile was in such good condition that we picked it up and put it back down again. It’s still there!”

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