How does Crypto.com Arena change floors while hosting three playoff teams?

How does Crypto.com Arena change floors while hosting three playoff teams?

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

Employees switch over Crypto.com Arena playing surfaces from hardwood to ice.

Employees at Crypto.com Arena change the arena’s playing surfaces from hardwood after an afternoon game with the Clippers to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

As the players left the court, a group of 60 Crypto.com Arena workers began a two-hour transformation of the playing surfaces, from the Clippers’ hardwood to the Kings’ ice, and for just a handful of times, back to the hardwood for a Lakers game the next day .

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

As the Clippers played the Trail Blazers in the first half of the afternoon game, we toured the arena to scout filming locations and secured cameras in various locations to capture the action.

Employees switch over Crypto.com Arena playing surfaces from hardwood to ice after an afternoon game with the Clippers.

Employees at Crypto.com Arena change the arena’s playing surfaces from hardwood after an afternoon game with the Clippers 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 transition to show viewers the different aspects of what it takes to pull off the feat.

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

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

An employee at Crypto.com Arena removes rubber mats covering the ice as a team of 40 switches over the playing surfaces from hardwood after an afternoon game with the Clippers to the 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 up again. Plexiglas barriers were assembled and cleaned.

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

An employee at the Crypto.com Arena secures plexiglass panels in a seating area next to the team tunnel.

An employee at Crypto.com Arena secures Plexiglas panels on a seating area next to the team’s tunnel as a team switches over playing surfaces from hardwood after an afternoon game with the Clippers to ice for an evening Kings hockey game on Saturday, April 8, 2023. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

An employee at the Crypto.com Arena washes plexiglass panels

An employee at Crypto.com Arena washes Plexiglas panels as a team of about 40 people switch over the playing surfaces from hardwood after an afternoon game with the Clippers to the 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 stay away, hoping a battery didn’t fail or a camera get out of position.

But for the workers, the afternoon passed without any problems. It was, after all, the 250th time the arena was changed for a doubleheader.

Employees at the Crypto.com Arena gather for a team photo

Employees at Crypto.com Arena gather for a team photo after switching playing surfaces from hardwood after an afternoon game with the Clippers 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 the Kings fans had replaced the Clippers fans, but only for a short time until the ice was covered, the maple trees were back and the seats were filled with purple and gold.

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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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