PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sections of white tarp cover a sheet of ice, surrounded by Plexiglas, as workers prep for a “Stadium Series” battle between the Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field.
“When we have 66,000 people here on Saturday night, you’ll recognize that these games are a major sporting event,” says NHL spokesman Steve Mayer.
Workers began laying foundation more than a week ago, as a refrigeration truck waited just outside the gate. Days later, fluid called glycol was pumped through a long hose from the truck to the temporary rink in the center of the football field.
Dan Craig, vice-president of NHL facility operations, says the ice-making material fills 365 feet of pipe under the ice.
“We have right around 4,200 gallons of glycol within the system,” he said.
Optimum ice temperature is 22 degrees. The long range forecast for Saturday calls for 60 degrees during the day, along with thundershowers. At night, it shouldn’t get below 40. Since freezing is 32 degrees, that sounds like a problem. But is it?
“We love 40,” Craig responds.
He admits it helps to have 300 tons of refrigerant standing by.
“We run the truck as hard as we can until it can’t keep up any more, and then we have a strategy to remove ice off the back end of the rink,” he said.
So chill out, Penguin fans, and put those weather fears on ice.