The first of 60 truckloads of dirt dumped onto the arena floor at the Schottenstein Center on Friday (1/9). The five hour process caused the arena to be as freezing cold inside as it was outside as the loading dock doors were open the entire time to accommodate the trucks. The heat was turned off in the arena since so much cold air was coming in. Staff wore their winter coats and hats.
More than three million pounds of dirt was unloaded onto the arena floor on top of carefully placed plywood, that was put on the floor like a puzzle along with other coverings on top of the ice used for OSU Men’s and Women’s Hockey games.
Two bulldozers spread the dirt to an even ten inches on the floor. It is the same dirt that was used for the same rodeo held at Nationwide Arena last year. It is actually more cost effective to store the dirt in Columbus rather than obtaining new dirt each year. It’s makeup includes more clay than the average dirt, which allows more traction for the horses, broncos, etc.
By the time the action begins for the Saturday event (1/10), more than 60,000 pounds of lighting, pyrotechnics, bronco chutes and other staging is added to the floor…all done in one day. The day after the rodeo, everything will be cleared out as if the rodeo was never here!
During the rodeo, the stage at the end of the floor was as ready as it could be. During the rodeo, the speakers on each side of the stage and the lighting in front of the stage were lowered so fans could see the rodeo action. After the rodeo, the speakers, lighting and a “Dustin Lynch” backdrop was quickly raised.
And quickly after the rodeo concluded, country star Dustin Lynch took the stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd, including 200 fans on the floor in front of the stage.
After more than an hour, Dustin Lynch concluded his fantastic concert!!!!! Time to start moving out the stage, equipment and of course the dirt!
The three million pounds of dirt and all equipment will be completely out of the arena by 7 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday 1/11). Ice recovery will begin at 10 a.m. A major “post cleaning’ of the arena will occur at noon. The conversion of the arena to the OSU basketball set-up will begin at 8 p.m. and the floor will be in and ready for play by 9:30 p.m.
Three busy days: Friday morning at 8 a.m. the dirt started being unloaded into the arena and the set-up began. Saturday morning the chutes, pyro and other aspects of the set-up were completed. By mid-afternoon the show was ready for action. Saturday night was the event enjoyed by thousands of guests. By Sunday morning, everything will be out of the arena as if the rodeo was never here!
It’s quite a process, but after all, it’s what we do! It certainly was a fantastic evening for guests experiencing the first rodeo ever held at the Schottenstein Center!