When the final buzzer rang and the Clippers sealed a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on a recent Saturday, another team was waiting just outside the locker rooms to start their game.
As the players left the court, a group of 60 Crypto.com Arena employees initiated a two-hour conversion of the playing surfaces, from Clippers hardwood to Kings ice and just a few times back to 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.
While the Clippers played the Trail Blazers in the first half of the afternoon game, we toured the arena to scout filming locations and set up cameras in various locations to capture the action.
We found a stationary position in a broadcast room high off the ground to mount a camera and periodically moved the others throughout the changeover to show viewers the different aspects of what it takes to pull the camera through Sleight of hand.
After the fans exited the building, the floor, decorated with the Clippers logo, was unlocked and removed piece by piece and stacked on dollies for temporary storage. Another crew was busy removing rubber mats from the ice to prepare the surface for hockey.
Banners were removed and other banners put up again. Plexiglas barriers were installed and cleaned.
Just before the Kings fans arrived, it was time for Kelvin and I to climb onto the two Zamboni machines to film the ice cream making.
Documenting the highly choreographed work there was fascinating, and a bit stressful for us trying to avoid them, hoping the battery didn’t die or a camera get knocked out of position.
But the afternoon went smoothly for the workers. After all, it was the 250th time that the arena was rebuilt for a doubleheader.
Their work was done and soon Kings fans had replaced Clippers fans, but only for a short time, until the ice was covered, the maple was back and the seats were filled with purple and gold.