PCL details renovations at LA’s Crypto.com Arena

Dive Brief:

  • Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment conglomerate Anschutz Entertainment Group selected Edmonton, Canada-based general contractor PCL Construction to renovate Crypto.com Arena (the former Staples Center) as well as L.A. Live’s Xbox Plaza. AEG and PCL did not disclose the total cost of the project.
  • Work started this summer and will carry on through 2024, according to the Aug. 30 announcement, and the arena will remain open to the public over the course of the project. The work on the Crypto.com arena and Xbox Plaza marks the 19th project to date that PCL has partnered on with AEG. 
  • PCL built the original arena in 1999, and construction took 18 months, according to Wayne Melnyk, the project director for the renovation who also served as general superintendent on the original build. 

Dive Insight:  

For PCL, building the original Staples Center was a landmark project, Melnyk told Construction Dive. Prior to the construction of the arena, few people in the area recognized the company.

“[The original project] really put us on the map in the city. Everybody knows Staples Center,” Melnyk said. 

The new renovations will connect the arena with L.A. Live’s Xbox Plaza. Melnyk said that the completed work up to now has involved updating and renovating the high-end suites and the Chairman’s Club in the arena. Additional planned work includes: 

  • The arena’s first-ever main concourse suites.
  • Redesigned dining areas in the Yaamava and Lexus Clubs, as well as other hospitality spaces.
  • A refresh of the arena’s premium and suite level entrances and concourses throughout the venue, as well as the locker rooms of the home teams: the NHL’s Kings, the NBA’s Lakers and the WNBA’s Sparks.
  • Improvements to the main concourse, along with upgrades to the upper-level concourse such as new food offerings and other fan amenities.
  • Installation of two new LED screens and ribbon boards visible to the upper and lower bowl seating areas.

Melnyk emphasized the great condition the 23-year-old building is in, and said that it looked better than the day his crew finished work in 1999.

Overcoming issues

To carry out the renovations, Melnyk said that construction will only occur in the offseasons of the main teams that play in the arena. However, construction has been ongoing even as concerts take place, and the building teams have had to work on an “around the clock” schedule when there are no events in the arena.

This leaves the time frame on the project in a certain amount of flux — if a team makes it to the playoffs, that cuts down on the windows of time that Melnyk’s team has to work on the build.

However, that wouldn’t differ too much from when Melnyk and his team built the original venue on a truncated timeframe in 1999.

“People don’t believe it, but a month before opening, we still had 1,100 workers [on the job],” Melnyk said.

So far, the project’s biggest challenge has been getting materials, Melnyk said, a problem contractors across the country have reported as one of their chief concerns.

Melnyk said that the PCL team is currently planning for next year’s work — particularly necessary if the window of building time shortens — and is making sure its has everything needed to finish the work.

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