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Aircraft Carrier Basketball Game Brings SGA On Board

PLSN Staff • News • December 8, 2011

SAN DIEGO – Stadium seating risers for 8,000 spectators might not be that unusual – but they are when they are installed onto the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. A Veterans Day basketball game for the Michigan State Spartans and North Carolina Tar Heels brought SGA Production Services on board the USS Carl Vinson.

More details from SGA Production Services (

SAN DIEGO – SGA Production Services provided stadium seating risers for 7,920 spectators at the 2011 Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Mike Whalen of Morale Entertainment Foundation produced the event and Lyle Centola was in charge of Production & Logistics. They worked together with the MSU Athletic Director, Mark Hollis, to produce the first ever college basketball game aboard an aircraft carrier. This was not just any aircraft carrier, but the US Navy Nimitz Class supercarrier, USS Carl Vinson. SGA’s Stadium Seating created a temporary basketball arena on the flight deck for the Michigan State Spartans and North Carolina Tar Heels’ season opening game.

A crew of six SGA supervisors and an energetic team of local and volunteer labor worked diligently through the occasional heavy rain and strong winds, not to mention intense security, to complete the installation within the scheduled eight days.The crew spent two days unloading 16 semi trucks and lifting seating onto the flight deck with a large construction crane. Eighteen vomitoria were installed to provided rapid exiting for the temporary stadium, which incorporated four sections rising to 25 feet.

What once sounded like a dream – a basketball game played on top of an aircraft carrier to commemorate the US Armed Forces – came true. It was a day built for the troops, and SGA is proud to have been part of an event that put smiles on so many faces of those who represent and serve our country.

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