ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The crew responsible for building an ice rink inside Michigan Stadium for the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic is back in business after a short holiday reprieve.
NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig and his staff were back at the Big House on Thursday morning and back at work on the rink inside the stadium by the early afternoon after a couple of days of leave for everyone to enjoy Christmas with their families.
Craig's crew first had to clean a few of inches of snow off the ice surface that has fallen here since they stopped working. The snow will be stored and used in the areas of the field around the rink on game day.
The plan for the rest of the day was to edge the outside of the ice surface after the cleanup was complete, and then flood the rink with hot water. If everything goes according to plan, Craig's crew will be able to starting painting the surface on Friday.
"We're definitely on schedule," Craig said. "The weather hasn't been a hindrance at all. Today was basically scheduled as a clean-up day."
There was some light snow in the early afternoon Thursday before the sun started to peak out from behind the clouds. Craig's crew had some company inside the massive bowl, which will house the largest crowd in hockey history on Wed., Jan. 1.
A large group of people were placing NHL Winter Classic seat cushions in the bleachers, while others were tasked with blowing the snow off the seats.