Call it a VERY full house. Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles is not only home to basketball’s Lakers and Clippers, but it also houses hockey’s Kings. For the first time in the 13-year-old building’s history, all three teams have made the playoffs in their respective sports, have furthermore made the second round, and will each be playing two games in Staples Center between Thursday and Sunday. That requires a lot of set-up, break-down and strong limbs.
Game 3 of the National Hockey League’s Western Conference finals between the Kings and Phoenix Coyotes is Thursday evening. On Friday evening, the Lakers play the Oklahoma Thunder for the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference semifinals. On Saturday afternoon, the Clippers face off against the San Antonio Spurs, also for the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals. Then that Saturday night, the Lakers play against Oklahoma. On Sunday, the Kings and the Coyotes play at noon, and the Clippers and Spurs go up against each other that evening.
According to Lee Zeidman, the Staples Center’s senior vice President and general manager, it takes a crew of 35 people two hours and 15 minutes, provided there’s no hockey overtime, to convert the facility from an NHL rink to a basketball court. That includes covering the ice, taking down the glass barrier around the rink and laying down the basketball court floor and VIP chairs. It takes 25 Staples employees an hour and a half to convert the floor between Lakers and Clippers games, said Zeidman.
Are you excited about this whirlwind of sports teams all using the Staples Center back-to-back, or is this a traffic headache on the horizon?
Lee Zeidman, the Staples Center’s senior vice president and general manager