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How does Crypto.com Arena host three playoff teams?


When the final buzzer sounded and the Clippers sealed a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on a recent Saturday, another team was waiting just outside the locker rooms ready to get their game on.

Employees at Crypto.com Arena change over the arena playing surfaces from hardwood following an afternoon Clippers game to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

As players left the court, a group of 60 Crypto.com Arena workers set in motion a two-hour transformation of the playing surfaces, from Clippers hardwood to Kings ice, and for only a handful of times, back to hardwood for a Lakers game the following day.

Times photo editor Kelvin Kuo and I were there to document the spectacle, powering up GoPro cameras and setting our plan to record the transformation with time-lapse photography.

While the Clippers played the Trail Blazers in the first half of the afternoon game, we toured the arena to scout shooting locations and secured cameras in different spots to capture the action.

Employees change over Crypto.com Arena playing surfaces from hardwood following an afternoon Clippers game to ice.

Employees at Crypto.com Arena change over the arena playing surfaces from hardwood following an afternoon Clippers game to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

We found a stationary position in a broadcast suite high above the floor to mount one camera, and moved the others around periodically during the changeover to show viewers the different aspects of what it takes to pull off the feat.

After fans left the building, the floor emblazoned with the Clippers logo was unlocked and removed piece by piece and stacked on rolling racks to be placed into temporary storage. Another crew was busy getting rubber mats off the ice to prepare the surface for hockey.

Employee at Crypto.com Arena remove rubber mats covering the ice.

Employee at Crypto.com Arena remove rubber mats covering the ice as a team of 40 people changes over the playing surfaces from hardwood following an afternoon Clippers game to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Banners were taken down and other banners put back up. Plexiglas barriers were assembled and cleaned.

Just before Kings fans arrived, it was time for Kelvin and I to climb on the twin Zamboni machines to film the ice preparation.

An employee at Crypto.com Arena secures plexiglas panels on a seating area adjacent to the team tunnel.

An employee at Crypto.com Arena secures plexiglas panels on a seating area adjacent to the team tunnel as a team changes over the playing surfaces from hardwood following an afternoon Clippers game to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

An employee at Crypto.com Arena washes plexiglas panels

An employee at Crypto.com Arena washes plexiglas panels as a team of around 40 people changes over the playing surfaces from hardwood following an afternoon Clippers game to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

It was fascinating to be there documenting the highly choreographed work, and a bit stressful for us trying to keep out of their way, hoping a battery didn’t fail or a camera get bumped out of position.

But for the workers, the afternoon went off without a hitch. It was, after all, the 250th time the arena was changed out for a doubleheader.

Employees at Crypto.com Arena gather for a team photo

Employees at Crypto.com Arena gather for a team photo after they changed over the playing surfaces from hardwood following an afternoon Clippers game to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Their work was done and soon Kings fans had replaced Clippers fans, but only for a short time until the ice was covered, the maple wood was back and the seats were filled with purple and gold.



This story originally appeared on LA Times

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