GLENDALE – With the start of the 2016-17 NHL season fast approaching, a work crew on Tuesday began the process of installing ice inside Gila River Arena.
It typically takes the staff about 36 hours to complete the installation process, which includes creating the ice and painting the lines, circles and logos.
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
Prior to starting, the temperature inside the arena was lowered to 55 degrees and the temperature of the arena floor was cooled to 12 degrees. Per NHL regulations, the temperature inside Gila River Arena will be kept between 60 and 64 degrees throughout the season.
Getting the ice just right for a lengthy hockey season is a science.
“We don’t want the sheet of ice to be soft, but we don’t want it to be too hard that it chips underneath the skaters,” Ice Technician Patrick Schuler said.
The crew uses approximately 10,500 gallons of water and 500 gallons of white paint to create the look the fans see on game nights. This season’s center-ice logo will include a homage to the team’s 20th anniversary in Arizona.
The ice will be used for the first time on Sept. 17 when rookies begin a six-day camp designed just for them before the veterans arrive on Sept. 23. As part of the rookie camp, the Coyotes will host the Los Angeles Kings rookies for two games on Sept. 20 (at 6 p.m.) and Sept. 21 (at 2 p.m.). After the veterans arrive, the Coyotes will host three preseason games and 41 regular-season games at Gila River Arena in 2016-17. The home opener is vs. the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 15.