Construction Begins On Convention Center Bowling Alley

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RENO, NV - What happens when a community, even one with the National Bowling Stadium, books two big bowling tournaments at the same time?

They build a new, temporary bowling alley.

In the next few months Reno will be hosting both the U-S Bowling Congress' Open and Women's Championship.

The Open will be held at the downtown stadium. The new alley is taking shape at the other end of town in the south end of the Reno Sparks Convention Center.

It doesn't look like it now, but here in this cavernous space in dozens of shipping crates and stacks of lumber, there is a bowling alley waiting to be born and not just any bowling alley.

"It's opening day for a brand new, state of the art 44-lane bowling center with pro shops, concessions, offices," says USBC Production Director Greg Moore. And, he added, a huge electronic score board stretching the length of the alleys.

It's all here in more than 30 truck loads of material, the lanes, the pin setters, the pins, 14,000 of them. waiting like a giant Erector set.

Moore and his crew have a little more than 40 days to put it together. It's like building a brand new bowling alley except for the roof and walls.

They're old hands at this stuff. That bowling under the arch event last summer? They did it in four days.

This will be a little more complicated, but again something they've done before, most recently in El Paso.

"This is as complex as any project gets, in part because of the electrical demands that are much different that if you're building a house or a building."

That big electronic score board is a big part of that complexity, but there's a lot of detail work to building a bowling alley. The lanes, for instance. The standard is that they be leveled edge to edge to within 40 thousands of an inch. These will be trued to half that--less than the thickness of a playing card.

It's all temporary, but it will be here for awhile.

When competition is over this summer, it will remain set up for other tourneys and a TV show. Then next spring, it will host the women's championship again.

And during that time the events held here will pump millions into the local economy. In fact, its impact is already being felt.

Some of the building materials are being purchased locally and construction will put a crew of about 25 to work. Moore figures construction alone adds up to about $1.4 million to the local economy.

The job will be done by April 12th. A now empty space will look very different and they will be ready for competition.