Facts & Features
- The arena employs over 200 students and over 600 part-timers in Administration, Event Services and Operations.
- One Million: Average number of guests that visit the Center every year.
- 700,000+: Total square footage of the Center (St. John Arena would fit inside 2 1/2 times.)
- 4 ½ hours: approximately how long it takes to converted the arena from hockey to basketball configuration. 3 ½ hours: approximately how long it takes to convert from basketball to hockey. A record of 2 ½ hours was set for a double-header.
- If filled with Coca-Cola, the arena would hold 133,187,970 gallons
- TOP GROSSING EVENTS — The Who, Paul McCartney and Britney Spears are all members of THE MILLION DOLLAR CLUB.
- By raising the “elephant door” (elephants will not lower their head) on the west end there is enough clearance for elephants, semi trucks, tour buses, and monster trucks to enter the arena floor.
- 10,000 gallons — amount of water needed to make 1" of ice/ 12 miles of pipe is laid under the floor to run the ice cooling system
- 225 – Number of 4′ × 8′ wooden floor pieces in the Buckeye’s home court
- Dimensions … The venue’s roof sits 136 feet from the floor. The showerheads in the Buckeye Basketball locker rooms are 9.5 feet high.
How Ice is Made
The cement floor houses a cooling system, over 12 miles of pipes, which enables the operations crews to make and maintain an ice rink. The ice is built over three days by hand-spraying just a mist layer of water - it just freezes. The ice is then built to its final thickness of 1”.
For ice shows, extra layers of ice are built – then more white tempura is used to create a pure white floor. When the ice show is over, the Zamboni takes off the top layers of ice and the hockey rink is once again revealed. The ice sheet is covered with 4’x4’ polar floor (insulating) pieces for special events. Ice is usually left in for the entire hockey season – October through March – except for Monster Truck shows and Ohio High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships.
For basketball games, the polar floor is placed over the ice covered by 4’x8’ hardwood pieces of the court that fit together like a giant puzzle. Removing the ice takes two days. The floor is heated up until the ice begins to melt and then Bobcats are driven out to chop up the ice. The ice is then pushed into large pits where hot water is used to complete the melting.
The self-contained visitor complex features Star Dressing Rooms … furnished like suites in a 5-star hotel that can be adapted using one of three sets of furniture tailored to fit the artists’ request. Each contains a private shower and restroom. Elton John dedicated one room strictly for a person to do ironing, the Stones used a pair of locker rooms to set up an arcade complete with pool table and video/pinball games, and our largest dressing room is home to a special sink installed specifically to accommodate our first concert performer – Neil Diamond.
The private Athletic team complex boasts a full service training room, weight room, and laundry. The basketball teams share a 15,000 square foot practice gymnasium hidden on the SW side of the Center with 2 full courts for private workouts and allows the team to practice the same day as a concert is loading into the arena bowl.
What is Terrazzo?
A unique feature of the Center is the terrazzo floor anchored by six floorscapes designed by artist Alexis Smith. 8,350 gallons of epoxy secures over 5 miles of 1/16” zinc wire strips painstakingly bent and placed by hand. Color was marked paint-by-number style. 115 tons of stones, mother of pearl and glass chips were prepared in custom shades.
The floor around the hockey player terrazzo contains more Mother-of-Pearl causing it to sparkle like ice. The floors were ground down three to five times to bring out the color. A diamond polish was added and the floors were sealed. Each rotunda took about six weeks to complete.
The John Havelicek floorscape, located in the Southwest entry just outside the auxiliary gymnasium, features the only non-scarlet and gray (blue) terrazzo to represent the opponent’s jersey. The basketball in John Havlicek’s hand is over 13 feet in diameter. Havlicek, a starter from 1960-1962, accumulated a record of 78-6, played in three-consecutive Final Fours, the 1960 National Championship team and was a 1962 All-American. After his career with The Ohio State University, he played for the Boston Celtics and eventually entered the NBA Hall of Fame.
The 1916 Women’s Basketball Club terrazzo floorscape, located in the Southeast rotunda, spotlights the uniform styles of the early 1900’s. Women’s basketball became a varsity sport in 1965. The Averill Roberts (1990-93) terrazzo pays tribute to a player that helped take the women’s team to the 1993 Final Four.
The hockey terrazzo, located in the Northwest rotunda, is the only floorscape that faces outward. The stick and puck extend down the hallway. The player’s face is Benji Wolke (1998), the stick depicted belongs to Perry Pooley (1984 All-American and 1984 Academic All-American) and the body is a composite of players from the 1980-1982 teams. Men’s Ice Hockey became a varsity sport in 1963-1964; it advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four in 1998.
The inclusion of basketball and hockey in the Schottenstein Center terazzo floorscapes seems logical, but why baseball? Baseball was the FIRST varsity sport at The Ohio State University – the image depicted in the Northeast rotunda of the 1890 baseball team actually features Buckeye basketball coach Fred Taylor, who played first base for the Buckeyes and became Ohio State’s first All-American baseball player in 1950.