Bright and early Tuesday, November 1st, the construction team made their way down to the USS Carl Vinson,docked in San Diego Bay at North Island, ready to start work on building the court for the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic. More than 150 of these hard-working crew will be hard at work constructing a basketball court – and arena to seat 7,000 – for the nine days leading up to the event.
“There are thousands of moving parts that we’re trying to fit together, between the Navy, the Morale Entertainment Foundation, the schools, and ESPN. The real challenge is seeing how all the parts will mesh,” said Jim Preston, a Morale Entertainment Foundation volunteer. “We have the right people for the job – people who have helped coordinate past Olympics and Super Bowl halftime shows. The end result is going to be something to see.”
And even though preliminary forecasts are calling for rain, with some even going so far as to predict significant storms at the time of tip off, the construction crew, the sailors and the event organizers aren’t worried. As a preventative measure, the construction crew is also producing a secondary arena in the ship’s hangar bay to be used in case the weather refuses to cooperate.
Thanks to the position of the San Diego Bay, it’s an area that’s highly exposed to inclement weather. According to Jim Purpura, former head of the National Weather Service’s San Diego office, it’s not unusual for storms to produce gusts of 20-30 mph, and they could be even higher on the flight deck which is about 60 feet above the bay.
But whether it’s a gorgeous sunny day and the game takes place as planned or it starts raining cats and dogs and everyone has to go below deck, this game is going to be an amazing event.
Rain or shine, you can watch the game LIVE from the comfort of your own home on ESPN Friday, November 11 7pm ET / 4pm PT. Don’t miss the game of the NCAA season!
Check out pictures of the arena being built. Courtesy of the US Navy