Converting the Berry Events Center


The Berry Events Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University is home to the Wildcats hockey and basketball teams. On any given day a group of thirty people have the task of converting the center from a basketball facility into a hockey rink.

When preparing the arena for a hockey game, the floor crew goes right to work tearing down from the basketball games. Both baskets, the benches, chairs, and all 120 pieces of the court have to be removed first before they can get to the polar floor.

The glass crew carefully begins putting together the glass that goes around the boards that surround the rink.

Ninety minutes later the crew has the basketball floor and all 1,200 pieces of the polar floor tucked away neatly in a back corner of the B.E.C., and the glass crew has all of the glass and boards back in place.

Now that the ice is cleared of everything from the basketball festivities, the crew now begins the process of getting the ice and the rest of the B.E.C. ready for play.

By 6pm, the crew is putting the finishing touches on the ice. Come 7:35pm, the puck was dropped on a surface that was just used to dribble a basketball on hours earlier.

The crew itself is put together at the start of the school year. As the year goes along, the process of converting the Berry to a basketball or hockey facility gets easier each and every time.

On many occasions, the B.E.C. has to be converted up to three times in one week.