When the 18,000-seat Chase Center opens for the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season, fans of the Golden State Warriors will be treated to Kevin Durant’s monster dunks and Steph Curry’s step-back three-pointers. Still, it may be hard for those All-Stars to top some of the moves onlookers witnessed during the arena’s January 2017 groundbreaking—moves performed by three Cat® excavators.
“We got a call that the Warriors were requesting some shiny machines for what they were calling an ‘excavator ballet,’” says Keith Wayne, general manager with Pacific States Environmental Contractors, Inc., a California-based construction firm involved in the Chase Center project. The state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex is being built in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
Together, Pacific States and local dealer Peterson Cat provided three excavators—a 308E2, 325F and 336F—for the groundbreaking ceremony, which also included acrobatics and fireworks and featured Warriors players, coaches and local VIPs.
To prepare for their part in the event, three Pacific States equipment operators spent an entire weekend working with a professional choreographer on their “ballet” moves—perfecting the timing and swinging of the excavator booms to music. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too far outside the operators’ comfort zones
“A lot of times on a job, we’ll work two excavators within the swing radius of one another—in a basement, for example,” Wayne says. “The guys said it reminded them of that, but easier since they didn’t have to worry about production numbers.”
The excavator ballet generated plenty of reaction, including coverage on ESPN, comments on social media and lots of conversations within the companies involved.
“A lot of times on a job, we’ll work two excavators within the swing radius of one another—in a basement, for example. The guys said it reminded them of that, but easier since they didn’t have to worry about production numbers.”
“We thought the machines were going to be static displays or at most excavate a couple buckets of dirt,” says Derek Pasut, regional sales manager for Peterson Cat. “The choreographed routine was a surprise—a little bit of shock and awe. We heard a lot of positive comments about it from other customers.”
Wayne agreed that while the entire production may have been a bit over the top, it was fun for those involved and a unique way to showcase Cat equipment.
“The guys who got to participate in the event were excited about it,” he says. “We were all excited to have the nicest equipment in the industry out there.”