Secrets of the Staples Center
What happens when a great sports arena has more than one event in a single day?
INSIDE EDITION was given unprecedented access to Los Angeles' Staples Center, which is home to The Grammys®. Yet, when we toured the Center it had a double header, a Clipper's basketball game followed by a Kings hockey game.
Workers have just three hours to convert the massive area from one sport to another.
As the Clippers played the San Antonio Spurs, Operations VP Lee Zeidman appeared anxious, because the game went into overtime. If Zeidman missed his deadline, the Staples Center would be fined by the NHL.
"We knew we were going to be doing doubleheaders once we built it, so we built it with two large storage rooms, so it allows the guys to come in and come out with the other event," Zeidman said.
The game ended 21-minutes late. As the players, cheerleaders, and fans left the arena, the countdown was underway and the choreographed changeover began.
Here's another secret: the ice is already made and lies underneath the basketball floor.
"It's always here," Zeidman said of the ice. "We make it in September and take it out hopefully this year, when the Kings win the Stanley Cup."
First, two dozen guys unbolt the floor, which is attached like a jigsaw puzzle. Then floor seats are removed and workers stack the unbolted floor onto forklifts. On the concourse, the souvenir stands are switched from basketball to hockey jerseys.
INSIDE EDITION snuck upstairs to the secret control room, where music director Dieter Ruehle changed his organ music. There are different tunes for the Lakers and Kings.
Insulation tiles are lifted to reveal the ice. There are actually 10 miles of refrigerated tubing to keep it there year round. Hot water is poured to clear the holes where the goals are anchored and Plexiglas barriers are erected. The ice is given a final squeegee.
The noise of the Zamboni grooming the ice means that it's nearly show time.
When the time came, the Staples Center was ready for the face-off. It pulled off a hat trick and a slam dunk all in one afternoon, and the fans never had a clue what really happened.