Skip to main content

Craig starts to prepare the ice at Heinz Field

by Dan Rosen /
PITTSBURGH -- The snowfall here forced the ice crew to turn the hoses off for a few hours Sunday afternoon, but since they were already ahead of schedule it isn't that big of an issue.

"We got slowed up a little bit this morning because we had snow flurries come through, but we got it cleaned up right now and we're waiting for the hot water to get kicked in in the building because we want to melt off the top layer before we get started again," NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig told "We have a little over a half an inch done from what we did last night, and we're ready to go."

Despite the inclement weather Craig is still in good spirits. Instead of spraying water, the crew was hard at work measuring out the specs for the goal crease and creating the holes in the ice for the moorings. They were able to set in some of the sensors that get frozen into the middle of the ice.

And, soon enough they'll turn the hoses back on and start building some more ice. The good news is it's cold here so the water is freezing in a matter of minutes. They've got about another inch to build before they can start painting white.

"If you go back into our room we have the NHL Network on. Hockey is being played and as you know over the weekend they were showing lots of the outdoor games," Craig said. "It's front of our minds of how crucial this is right now and we want to make sure we are patient on our steps of it so within the next 24 hours we're to the level we want, we're ready to paint and we're ready to make this thing look like a piece of art."

Craig confirmed that his goal is still to be painting the surface white by 9 o'clock tomorrow night.

"If everything goes well tonight we may even move that up by four or five hours so we can get a good layer of ice overtop of the white, the boys can get back to the room and get some rest," he said. "We're probably going to start at 10 o'clock in the morning on the 28th doing our ice markings and (getting our) logos installed and we want all hands on deck, healthy and rejuvenated."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl.
View More