Bucks-Raptors preseason game canceled (Creative Response)

This past Friday October 25, 2013, I tuned into a Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks preseason game that was being hosted by the Bucks. I then came across an article that had been written later that night, which was unusual considering that most articles are written and posted the day after the game. What was most appealing about this article is that in all my years of watching NBA games, I have never heard of a game being cancelled because of concerns regarding the condition of the playing surface. There are numerous teams around the league who share their arena with a hockey team, where night-to-night the playing surface has to be changed from hardwood floor to ice and vice versa. However, the condition of the playing surface has never really been an issue during pregame warm-ups or even once the game has already commenced.

The three officials for the game had stopped play several times throughout the first quarter, but at 5:58 left in the quarter after several players had slipped and fallen on both ends of the court, the officials called for a timeout to discuss amongst each other and with the team coaches how to proceed with the game. After about 20-30 minutes of discussion, the decision was announced throughout the arena that the game would not be played due to fear of injury, traction, and player safety. As mentioned earlier, the Bradley Center is one of those arenas that host basketball and hockey games on different nights, but according to the lead official, Danny Crawford, condensation was not the issue which raised questions about the finishing of the court surface.

Now what is interesting here that the topic of the “finishing of the court surface” was brought up, is the fact that the Bucks had recently unveiled their new floor for the 2013-14 NBA season that night, and that the team had only played on the court once for practice because they usually practice at a separate facility. Furthermore, what makes this a huge issue, and why it caught my eye and has been a topic of discussion, is the fact that this court problem comes at a time when the Bucks are pushing for public support to build a new arena for the team. Bucks head coach Larry Drew believes that this will not be an issue moving forward, but do you think the damage has already been done? Has this preseason game cancellation hindered the Bucks chance of pushing for public funding to build a new arena? When it comes to deciding to cancel a game, is there already a policy put in place to guide the decision, or did the officials just react on a whim because these were unforeseen events? Lastly, who’s responsibility might it be to ensure that the court surface is playable, the facility manager/staff, the event manager, league officials, or host team officials/staff?


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2 Responses to Bucks-Raptors preseason game canceled (Creative Response)

  1. rb10lh says:

    Great blog here! Firstly I’d like to say, there is a chance they made the floor inentionally “slippery” to prevent the game from going on, to further proove the point they need a new stadium. However this is also counter productive because unvailing a new floor is meant to showcase a stadium/arena. I don’t know about the policies, or what would have happened if it was a regular season game. I do know this is a PR nightmare for the Bucks, and hopefully they can resolve it going forward.

  2. jd10sh says:

    Very underrated blog here, very interesting topic that many don’t even realize. There is a perception that pro teams and their assets are ‘perfect’, forgetting that they still must deal with the same problems we face with our properties. (A great example is the sewage back-up problems at O.co Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics). These problems happen, and not that I wish for it every to, but it is better in the pre season than any other. Working at Brock University in the Walker Complex, I have come across issues with equipment during basketball games. This is sometimes just bad luck, as we do our best to test it as many times as possible. I hope Milwaukee officials and fix this problem to ensure player safety in the future.

    Also, this issue also came about in 2003, when the Raptors were hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers (in LeBron James’ inaugural season) in n exhibition game in St.John’s, Newfoundland.


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