How Does The United Center Change From Hockey To Basketball

When transitioning from hockey to basketball, the United Center goes through several changes to accommodate the different sports. Here are five supporting facts:
1. Arena Configuration: The seating arrangement in the United Center is altered to cater to basketball games. The court is positioned at the center of the arena, surrounded by retractable stands for spectators.

2. Ice Removal: The ice rink, used for hockey games, is melted down and removed from the United Center during the transition process. Special equipment removes the ice and prepares the floor for basketball.

3. Court Installation: Once the ice is removed, a basketball court is laid out on the United Center floor. The court is designed to meet all the requirements and dimensions set by the NBA.

4. Basketball-Specific Equipment: The United Center undergoes equipment changes to support basketball games. This includes setting up basketball goals, installing sideline seating, and positioning cameras and lights in different locations to ensure optimal viewing angles.

5. Signage and Branding: During the transition, all hockey-related signage and branding within the United Center is temporarily removed or covered up, and basketball-specific signage is put in place to create a basketball-themed atmosphere.


1. How long does it take to transition from hockey to basketball at the United Center?
– The transition typically takes around 24 to 48 hours, depending on the complexity of the event schedules and the efficiency of the crew.

2. Can the United Center host both hockey and basketball games on the same day?
– While it is technically possible, it is generally avoided due to the time-consuming transition process and the need for adequate preparation and maintenance for each sport.

3. Is the ice completely melted during the transition?
– Yes, the ice is entirely melted using specialized equipment to ensure a clean and dry surface for the basketball court.

4. How are the seats rearranged for basketball games?
– The retractable seating system within the United Center allows for easy rearrangement. Some seats are retracted and moved to align with the basketball court, providing the best viewing angles for the spectators.

5. Are any permanent changes made to the United Center during the transition?
– No, all changes are temporary and reversible. The modifications made to accommodate basketball are removed after the game, and the arena is restored to its original configuration for hockey.

6. Can the United Center host other sporting events besides hockey and basketball?
– Yes, the United Center can host a variety of sporting events. The venue has been used for concerts, wrestling, and even college basketball tournaments, among other events.

7. How often does the United Center switch between hockey and basketball configurations?
– It depends on the scheduling of games for both sports. During the regular seasons, the transition may occur multiple times a week. However, during playoffs or other special events, the arena configuration may remain unchanged for several consecutive games.

BOTTOM LINE: The United Center transitions from hockey to basketball by reconfiguring the seating arrangement, melting the ice, installing a basketball court, changing equipment, and updating signage. This process takes approximately 24 to 48 hours and is reversible, ensuring the arena can host a variety of sporting events throughout the year.