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Crews put finishing touches on USS Midway flight deck basketball arena

Construction crews are getting the USS Midway Museum ready for the Battle on the Midway college basketball game on Sunday afternoon, Veterans Day.

For more than a week, workers from Syndicus Entertainment, the company orchestrating the entire event, and subcontractors who specialize in installing basketball floors and bleachers have been amassing a makeshift outdoor arena for a match-up between Syracuse University and San Diego State University on the flight deck.

"We started to unload materials and equipment for the game on Oct. 29," said Scott McGaugh, spokesperson for USS Midway Museum, on Wednesday. "Construction of the temporary arena started on October 31. It's a nine- to 10-day process."

Bleachers for 5,000 people are installed, along with a 3,000-square-foot media tent, 12 portable toilets, tent areas for the two teams, and temporary booths and stands for food and merchandise sales.

Temporary locker rooms have been set up, temporary Internet and phone lines have been installed, and one-third of the pier next to the USS Midway will be housed by media trailers and trucks to broadcast and produce the game.

A shot of the temporary basketball arena onboard the USS Midway Museum on Nov. 7. Photo courtesy of USS Midway Museum

Fans can watch the temporary arena be built via a Web cam installed on the USS Midway Museum by visiting Midway.org/live.

The game on Sunday at 1 p.m. was originally scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. but was moved due to the forecasted rainfall. The museum will be open only to basketball game ticketholders that day.

"The purpose of the game is to play it on the Midway," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. "So that's what we want to almost guarantee that we can have happen. So the only reason we're moving it from Friday to Sunday is to guarantee the fact that we'll play it on the Midway."

San Diego State Aztecs are ranked 20th on the Associated Press Top 25 poll, while the Syracuse Orange is ranked ninth.

The Aztecs were originally slated to play San Diego Christian on Sunday at Viejas Arena, but that game has been moved to Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.

Last year, Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill men's basketball teams played a game atop the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in Coronado.

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USS Midway Museum

Company Website

910 North Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

USS Midway Museum Executive(s):

Mac McLaughlin

  • Chief Executive Officer, President

Philip Hamilton

  • Chief Financial Officer

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