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Clippers Move Knick Game to Anaheim During Repairs

January 26, 1994|ERIC SHEPARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Construction workers began patching the earthquake-damaged Sports Arena on Tuesday afternoon, forcing the Clippers to reschedule another home game, their second in a row.

With repair work expected to last the rest of the week, the Clippers moved Thursday night's game against New York to the Anaheim Arena. Tip-off remains at 7:30 and all advance tickets and parking passes from the Sports Arena will be honored.

The status of Saturday night's home game against Minnesota is uncertain and an announcement will be made Thursday morning, Sports Arena officials said. The Clippers also are scheduled to play host to Golden State on Monday night.

Last week's earthquake caused extensive damage to the Sports Arena. Ceiling plaster was dislodged over five concourse seating areas, several cracks were found in the concourse and seating area and there was damage to several roof trusses.

Jay Hagerman, general manager of the Sports Arena, said most of the damage is not easily visible and was detected by two structural engineers who inspected the facility for four days last week.

"We just don't want to take any chances," said Hagerman, who declined to estimate the cost of the repairs. "Public safety is a top concern. We were confident the work could be done in time for Thursday's game, but I think we're going to need a couple of extra days. We hope it can all be done by Saturday."

The Clippers, who played in Seattle on Tuesday night, moved last Friday's game against Cleveland to the Forum. That was not an option this week, because the Kings will play there Thursday and Saturday.

"We thank our fans for their patience and understanding," said Andy Roeser, Clipper executive vice president. "We are fortunate to have at our disposal such a fine facility as Anaheim Arena."

Also affected by the construction work is the USC women's basketball team, ranked eighth in the country. The game against California on Friday night has been moved to the Lyon Center on the USC campus.

The Clippers played their first exhibition this season at Anaheim Arena, home to the NHL's Mighty Ducks. Team officials have expressed interest in playing several games a year there and recently negotiated a three-year contract that allows them six homes games a season away from the Sports Arena.

The Sports Arena has a capacity of 16,005 and Anaheim Arena 17,250.

Players were excited by the change of venue.

"I think it is awesome," forward Tom Tolbert said. "We drew a huge crowd there earlier this season, and it's one of the nicest arenas in the NHL."

Said forward Harold Ellis: "I love that place. We had a great time there earlier this season."

Times staff writer Chris Baker in Seattle contributed to this story.

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