CHAVEZ RAVINE – The renowned ‘ice truck’ arrived at Dodger Stadium today, holding the components that will build, maintain, and be the lifeline of the ice sheet that will be stationed on the heart of the ballpark’s infield.
With less than two weeks leading up to January 25’s Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, a press conference was held today on the hallowed grounds of LA’s baseball territory, Dodger Stadium, where construction was underway to build the ice rink and the other amenities that will grace the playing field for January 25’s event.
Wayne Gretzky joined Kings President Luc Robitaille, along with Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, and NHL ice guru Dan Craig to discuss the upcoming game, which will be the first of any kind for the NHL and Southern California.
Gretzky, who popularized the sport when coming to the Kings in August of 1988, is responsible for the remarkable growth and movement the sport has made in Los Angeles and Southern California.
Now, he gets to see one of his long-time dreams come to fruition.
“One of the things I always used to say was, it would be so cool to see our game outdoors in LA at Dodger Stadium in 55-60 degree weather, people in shorts and t-shirts enjoying our great sport.”
“So that dream is going to come true for a lot of people, and I hope everyone has a wonderful time enjoying the game. You’ve got two wonderful teams that are playing, and it should be a tremendous game.”
Luc Robitaille is excited to see the game introduce the sport to new fans, while looking forward to the Kings expanding their fan base to an even larger group.
“Because the game is at Dodger Stadium, there will be a lot of people who are intrigued with this. We think there will be a lot of new fans that will be watching the game. It’s a great opportunity for us to share with people the love we have for the game, the beauty of our game, our guys skating, and the physicality.”
Robitaille noted that the players also feel the excitement surrounding January 25’s game.
“The players are excited. You know, anytime as a there’s something that cuts the ritual we go through every day during the season, it makes it that much bigger for the players.”
“It’s a big event, it’s something very special, and your team has to have a certain level of success to be able to do something like this, so it has a lot to do with the players, and how well they’ve been able to play the past few years, for us to be able to pull this off.”
Robitaille, when asked about whether or not he's worried about the ice conditions on January 25, showed the utmost confidence that the conditions will be absolutely perfect.
“No, I mean, we know the league is really good at what they do. We’re going to play at night, so for all of us who live in LA, we know how the temperature just drops at night. It could be really warm during the day, and tonight we’ll need a jacket. That’s the reason why we’re playing at 6:30, just to make sure there’s enough time for the ice to be perfect.”
“I think it’s actually going to be the best weather to not just watch the game, but to play the game.”