Reporting Lynne Hayes-Freeland
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ new stadium was full of beautiful green turf just one week ago, getting ready for soccer action.
Now though, the stadium is actually being prepped for the opening of the Penguins Pond, a professional hockey-sized ice rink.
“I think it’s interesting to open up a soccer stadium and have an ice event as the first event,” says Riverhounds CEO Jason Kutney.
The new stadium will actually open next week with the ice rink sitting on top of the turf.
But Kutney says the transition won’t be tough.
“There’s an ice mat that goes on top of that. The coils hook into a chilling system that keeps the system running throughout the weather… so whether it’s the 50s or 60s, but hopefully, we’re down into the 30s or 40s so the chiller system isn’t sweating too much,” said Kutney.
He also says, the water could go in as early as Monday, and should only take a few hours to freeze, based on the outside temperatures.
Official opening day for the pond is Dec. 14. There will be public skating in the afternoons and evenings, costing $7 for adults and skate rentals for $3.
The season will runs until mid-January.
And no worries about the turf underneath the ice; it’s protected.
“There’s a duratract system that basically goes on top of the turf that basically protects the fibers of the turf itself,” Kutney said. “It was used commonly at big stadiums when you have concerts to protect the truf when you have spills and everything from on top of it.”
The Penguins Pond will operate on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
After the ice comes down, it’s time to get ready for soccer in April.
For more information on the Penguins Pond visit: PittsburghPenguins.com/PenguinsPond
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