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Expediting the Changeover Time at the American Airlines Center

October 5th, 2009

Client: American Airlines Centeraac
Team:  Andrew Conway, Marcos Garza, Tabatha G. Olaechea, Jennifer Keen, Marcus Wentrck
Faculty advisor: Barr   Year: 2004
Documents: Final report (Word), final presentation (PPT)

The American Airlines Center is a dual – purpose facility; they house the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks as well as the NHL’s Dallas Stars and must accommodate them both through out their respective seasons.  The AAC is setup to change back and forth to both set ups.  Making a quicker transition time when switching from a basketball court to a hockey rink would decrease scheduling conflicts between the two teams, and possibly allow for an increase in other sports; and non-sporting (i.e. concerts, seminars, rodeos, etc.) events to take place in the arena.  This could potentially increase revenue for the AAC.  As of right now they do not make much money on the Maverick’s and Star’s games, so by decreasing changeover time, they would be able to bring in other venues to increase the amount of money they make in a fiscal year.

Currently the changeover time from a basketball to a hockey setup runs from anywhere between three and a half to five hours.  The American Airlines Center Operations Department feels that two hours is the optimal time that the changeover should take and would like to see that goal met within the next few years.  So this project focuses on documenting this changeover and possible steps AAC can take to reduce the changeover time.  To go about finding ways to reduce time, we decided to attend several changeovers from basketball to hockey and watch first hand how the whole process took place.  We were also provided with video documentation of the changeover for further deliberation.  AAC Operations Department felt we should focus on the changeover from basketball to hockey in particular because that changeover was currently taking the most time and thus had the most room for improvement.  The changeover process was observed from various viewpoints: upper deck, court level, and from different parts of the facility to get many different perspectives of the process.  When we attended the changeovers, we took extensive notes on what they did, how they did it, and approximate times to do each task and the order the tasks were done in.  recordings of the changeovers were made and further analyzed.  After we attained a substantial amount of data, we entered into various programs for organization along with aiding in looking for and finding solutions.  After doing all of this research we felt documentation of the process would be the major part of the solution, since they currently do not have any documentation at this time.  We found many ways they could reduce time off their changeovers and several of those ideas have been or are in the process of being implemented.

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