The Toyota Center can be a variety of different things on any given night.
KENNEWICK, WA - The Toyota Center can be a variety of different things on any given night. It's a hockey rink for the Tri-City Americans, a football field for the Tri-Cities Fever, a basketball court for tournaments and even a concert house.
It's been a busy few weeks for workers. Last week, there was a hockey game on Wednesday, the Fever's home opener on Friday and the NWAACC tournament began Saturday morning. In a span of just eight days, there were three different sports during four different events and a total of 58 games. That totaled more than 120 hours of playing time and nearly 7,500 points scored.
"We're totally event driven. So you could have up to three or four a week to maybe only one a week, one every two weeks. It just depends on what events are coming," said Operations Director Rob Gierke.
"I love my job. I can come watch hockey and I know I helped set up the arena and stuff for that," said Conversions Supervisor Bryan Fife.
The crew puts 'event deck' over the ice to start the changeover. It's made mostly of carbon fiber and it acts as an insulator.
"It really fits together like a puzzle. So one piece slides in, next piece slides in and once we get all that going, we get the turf down. It's Velcro turf so it looks really nice after we're done," said Fife.
It takes a lot more people for the changeover from turf to basketball than it does for ice to turf.
"Normally we just start with the small things while the game is still going on the field. Taking chairs out, slowly pushing bleachers in. If something needs removed, we do it. We don't normally start the major things like rolling up the turf and stuff like that until the teams off, crowd's gone. That's when we really kick it into overdrive," said Fife.
"It's like a step system. Everything takes a certain amount of time but if you overlap those times, everything comes out in a better time frame," said Gierke.
"I like to tell people, this doesn't just magically appear. We're behind the scenes type of guys. We're here when no one else is. We make sure it's all set and ready to go so they can just show up the next morning. We like to be able to do that. We take pride in the work we do here," said Fife.
Watch the video to see all of it broken down into a minute and a half.