Ice Crews Face Grueling Schedule To Get Rinks Ready

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – They are making progress on the ice rink outside of Heinz Field. It’s being built as part of next week’s Winter Classic festivities.

But what about the other rink – the one that will be built inside of the stadium? Crews are making preparations to begin work on that project after the Steelers game ends.

It’s been a grueling last few days for Pittsburgh’s new “Lord of the Rinks.”

“Words cannot describe – cold, wet, but all in all it’s not bad,” said Rich Cubin, of Rink Specialties.

In roughly three days, Rink Specialties is close to transforming what was just a parking lot into an ice hockey castle.

“It’s monumental,” said Cubin . “We went from nothing to a full size ice rink. The core of the project was pretty demanding, not only did we have to bring in a series of tubing that we had to line up to the existing boards at Mellon Arena, but then we had to get the Mellon Arena boards that weren’t perfect to line up as well.”

The Mellon/Civic Arena lives on as the dasher boards will create the hollow bang of vulcanized rubber pucks slamming up against them once again.

Anyone who skates at the temporary rink will literally be surrounded by Pittsburgh hockey history.

However, the old boards aren’t the only thing fans will recognize from the old Igloo, crews have also pulled out an old Zamboni for the Winter Classic community rink.

As that rink nears completion, construction is set to start on the game rink inside Heinz Field as soon as the Steelers game ends this evening.

Cubin and his crew say the are ready.

“Dan Craig, with the NHL, has been working with us, been keeping an eye on us,” said Cubin. “It’s been a back and forth effort. They’ve been great to work with as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins, top notch outfit; I’ve felt right at home.”