Crews take center stage in rare Pepsi Center doubleheader

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Data pix.

DENVER -- It was a rare sight at Pepsi Center on Saturday, one director of conversion Matt Mennona calls “organized chaos at its finest.”

For the first time in 13 years, the Avalanche and Nuggets played home games on the same day. That meant the Pepsi Center conversion crew had to flip the floor from ice to hardwood in 90 minutes or less.

The Avalanche started things off with a 1 p.m. face-off against the L.A. Kings. Just minutes after the Avs capped of a blowout win, the conversion team got right to work.

“We have a great crew. There’s a lot of talented dedicated people and that’s when they shine,” says Steve Johnston, the executive producer of game presentation.

Just like the Avalanche and Nuggets, the conversion crew can’t succeed without teamwork, hustle and practice.

“We practiced twice already leading into this to make sure we have everything dialed in and ready to go,” says Mennona.

“This is the first time that I’ve seen an Avs and Nuggets doubleheader, so I think a lot of the crews are really excited about it because it doesn’t happen very often,” adds Johnston.

The stats are staggering: 600 pieces of flooring cover the ice and 233 pieces of hardwood are laid on top. It's all part of a giant puzzle that has to come together quickly.

“We were very excited for it," Mennona says of the quick turnaround. "When I took this spot, it was one of the days I was actually looking forward to because a lot of the times the eyes are on the teams, and now it’s us.”

The crew converted the playing surfaces quicker than expected, with plenty of time to spare before the Nuggets 8 p.m. tip-off against the Cavaliers. But the doubleheader is only the beginning of a very busy weekend. The hardwood will be replaced by a lacrosse field for Sunday’s Colorado Mammoth game, and then it goes back to ice for an Avalanche game on Monday afternoon. The final tally: four games in 48 hours.

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