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Let There Be Ice!

Workers began installing NHL playing surface inside Gila River Arena on Sunday morning

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

How Do You Build NHL Ice?

How Do You Build NHL Ice?

This time lapse takes you through the NHL ice installation process at Gila River Arena, from start to finish

  • 00:59 •

GLENDALE -- With the start of Coyotes Rookie Camp coming later this week, workers began installing NHL ice inside Gila River Arena on Sunday morning.

The installation, which requires approximately 10,500 gallons of water, is expected to be complete by late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Once finished, the ice will measure 1 - 1 3/8 inches thick.

"It's about a 36-hour process," said Sean Langer, the Director of Operations for Gila River Arena, "but we always try to give ourselves a day or two window before the ice is needed, just in case something happens during the process. The biggest challenge for us is that we make sure everything is done precisely, and that we meet the timelines and deliver a good product."

Five hundred gallons of white paint in powder form are used during the installation, plus additional gallons of colored paint for the lines, markings and logos.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2017 Ice Installation

Preparations for the installation began last week when the air inside the building was cooled to 55 degrees and the floor was cooled to 12 degrees.


(per Arizona Coyotes PR)

1. After the floor and arena temperatures are lowered to 12 and 55 degrees, respectively, several base coats of water are applied over the arena floor.

2. Five boxes of white powder paint (45 pounds each) are mixed with 250 gallons of water. Three layers of white paint are then sprayed on the floor, and the white paint is sealed with two coats of water. 

3. Yarn is frozen into the ice to help paint straight blue, red and goal lines.

4. A paint stick tool is used to paint the circles. The stick is connected with a cable to the center of the outline circle. This helps draw the perfect circle.

5. Mesh logos are placed and sprayed with water to freeze them in position.

6. The ice is flooded to achieve the desired depth and thickness.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: That's a lot of H2O.

Rookies are slated report to camp on Wednesday and will practice in two groups at Gila River Arena on Thursday. The first group will take the ice at 1 p.m. and the second group will skate at 2:30 p.m. Both sessions are open to the public at no charge.

RELATED CONTENT: Rookie Camp Begins Sept. 7

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