Champions of Sport: How is a Hockey Rink Turned into a Basketball Court?

3 years ago

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Many arenas using portable basketball courts, are hosting year round events that require the ease of installing and dismantling a basketball court within hours. The process of placing a basketball court down over ice leaves many fans and event attendees wondering how the basketball court is installed and what is preventing the ice from melting. To answer these questions, we’ve put together an overview of how a basketball court is installed over ice.

Protective Cover Placed Over Ice

To turn a hockey stadium into a basketball arena, a protective surface is placed on top of the ice to safeguard the rink from damage while providing insulation for a basketball court. Insulated plywood or fiberglass panels are most often used as the protective surface. It takes roughly 500-550 plywood or fiberglass panels to cover a hockey rink. The panels are put down on the ice row by row until the entire rink is covered.

Basketball Court Installation 

After the protective surface is installed a portable basketball court is placed over top. Connor Sports recommends using a QuickLockTM portable basketball court.

Overview of how a QuickLock portable basketball court is installed

  • Installation crews bring out 15 pallets with 15-17 panels on each pallet

  • Each pallet of panels will build one row of the basketball court
  • The first row of the court is built along a chalk line to ensure the panels are being installed in a straight line, keeping the floor square

  • The first panel is placed in the top left corner and, installed from left to right, baseline to baseline
  • Each panel has a steel tongue on two sides, and a plastic groove on the others. 

  • The corners of two panels are placed together at a 45-degree angle

  • A pin connects the panels and are slid together, like closing a door

  • All panels are put together in the same fashion until the court is finished

All said and done a portable basketball court takes roughly 2-4 hours to install.

Climate Factors
Temperature control is crucial to installing a basketball court over a hockey rink. If the ice melts moisture and dew will form on the court ruining the panels.

Without an ice cover system, buildings should be kept around 63 F. With an ice cover system, building temperatures can be raised a few degrees because the ice is insulated from the air temperatures.


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