Vivint Arena all decked out for March Madness via KSL News

2 months ago

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SALT LAKE CITY (KSL NEWS) — Some regional first- and second-round games of the 2017 NCAA Tournament will take place at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

Crews spent all night setting up for the tournament after the Utah Jazz finished playing the Los Angeles Clippers at the arena Monday night.

No matter how many times head electrician Austin Berrett has set up for Jazz games, setting up for the NCAA Tournament was different.

"Tons of responsibility," he said. "I mean, you've got to know what you're doing, for one."

He knows what he's doing, but still, everything must go right.

"It's a big deal. My wife is always like, 'What are you setting up today?' It's kind of cool when you're like, 'March Madness.'"

That means, as head electrician, Berrett is definitely under pressure.

"You're setting this up for national television. It's (seen) all over," he explained.

A different crew set up the court. The Jazz court had to be removed so the NCAA court could be installed.

"It took us about three hours to get the court installed," said Brooke Cramblitt of Utah-based Connor Sport Court International.

The company has experience building courts like this for events all across the world, including the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It, too, feels the pressure of the NCAA Tournament.

"If something goes wrong, one of the easiest people to point to is us," Cramblitt said. "So, we need to make sure we're manufacturing a product that's done impeccably for athletes' safety and performance." It is a lot of work but also very rewarding.

"Honestly, people don't realize the preparation and man hours and time and preparation that goes into this," Berrett said.

But then he added, "I absolutely love this."

When the NCAA games are over, crews will tear it all down to make way for whatever is next at Vivint Arena.

"It's another event after another event, after another event. (It's) just go, go, go," Berrett said.

NCAA action gets underway Thursday, starting with top-seed Gonzaga playing 16-seed South Dakota State. Other games that will follow include No. 8 Northwestern vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt; No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 North Dakota; and No. 7 Saint Mary's vs. No. 10 VCU.

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