A pedestrian tunnel was proposed by AEG to run from the Staples Center to the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. The tunnel is primarily used for venue operations such as catering, arena personnel, security and to provide the occasional visiting celebrity private access between the venues.
Clark Construction Group and GB Cooke chose a CON/SPAN® structure because speed of installation was a high priority. The tunnel needed to be installed between the end of the 2006 NBA Playoffs and the arena’s next major event, giving the crew only a few weeks for complete construction. The time constraints weren’t the only challenge the crew faced. The City of Los Angeles has heavy traffic, multiple underground utilities and methane gas pockets, created by naturally occurring crude oil.
Hosting more than 250 events and nearly 4 million visitors a year, the Staples Center has been a premier venue for high-profile sports and entertainment events as well as events of national and international distinction. The Nokia Theater, with state-of-the-art acoustics and seating for 7,000, will host the Latin Grammy awards and ESPY awards, in addition to numerous other productions from VH1, MTV and BET.
The tunnel was named after the late Basketball Hall of Fame announcer Chick Hearn, the former long-time play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Lakers.