Does it seem a bit ironic that I had to come to Southern California to see my first live hockey game? Not really, that’s just one of those things which make life so interesting.
So it was off to the Staples Center, located downtown. I like having sports arenas smack in the city, much more convenient than having to trek out into the hinterland. Nicely bundled up to ward off the cold (hey, this is ice hockey, remember) I was looking forward to the events to come.
Things started off with a light show
and after a while the actual game started:
Quite fascinating, lots of fun and action. However, after a while my mind started to wander a bit and I kept asking myself: How do they do it?
After all, the Staples Center is used by the Clippers, the Lakers and the Kings, to name but a few and even I with my limited understanding of certain sports know that basketball is not played on ice. So during intermission I went off to inquire and what I found out pleased my German liking for efficiency.
This is how they do it:
They put in new floors. Quite simple, yes. The ice rink is the base structure. When the Clippers or the Lakers play, the ice is covered with an insulation layer and the floor for a basketball team is laid on top of that. A whole floor, complete with markings and logos for each basketball team. When everything gets switched back to hockey, the floor and insulation layer is taken off, the thermostat gets turned down and out come the guys on the skates.
But the really amazing part is – all of this takes 1 1/2 hours. Now that is what I call efficency. Kudos to the Staples Center. Good job, good job.
P.S.: The L.A. Kings lost against the Dallas Stars, but by one point only. And it was a fun game.