Jon Dorman now holds the honor of sinking the first basket on the new basketball floor at the Columbus Civic Center.
Dorman, executive director at the Columbus Civic Center, couldn’t resist taking the shot while hosting an open house Monday afternoon to show off the new court. The arena recently purchased the slightly used “All Star Plus” basketball floor from Robbins Sports Surfaces in Cincinnati, Ohio. The floor replaces the Civic Center’s current court, which is 23 years old and in disrepair.
“The original floor, and it was the original floor to the building, was purchased back in ‘96 and had come into some disrepair,“ Dorman said. “There were some pieces missing, some mishandling, and just over time, it had worn out, it had given us all it could.”
The floor was used for one season by the WNBA’s Indiana Fever basketball team. Greg Pierce of Robbins Sports Services said after they delivered and installed the floor in Indiana, they realized they had painted the graphics upside down. Pierce said that forced the team to set the floor up opposite of how they needed to and after one season decided it wouldn’t work on a permanent basis.
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Pierce said the company brought the floor back to their factory and attempted to remove the graphics, but couldn’t do so to their satisfaction. The company decided to build a new floor for the Indiana Fever, and he contacted John Dorman, director of the Columbus Civic Center, who he knew was looking for a floor. The two were able to strike a deal.
“We actually just sold a couple of other floors that we are delivering this spring for the WNBA and those are brand-new floors and they are in the $135,000 range,“ Pierce said. “ The floor itself I think we’re at $95,000 so a $40,000 savings on this floor just for being used for one summer.” Dorman said, with shipping, the total came to $101, 728.
The floor is painted and lined to Columbus’ specifications and will see its first action Friday during the Georgia vs. Alabama All Star Classic. The event features four games, beginning at 5 p.m. with the underclassmen girls game and concluding with an 8:45 p.m. tip off for the senior boys game.
Dorman said they hope a new floor will better accommodate existing basketball events and attract new business.
“We’re hoping that with the new floor that we’re going to be able to attract Georgia High School Athletic Association events,” Dorman said. “They had specifically said they would not play basketball on the previous floor because of its condition. So with this floor now we’ll be able to go after things like the state high school championships, both boys and girls.”