Dodger Stadium in Sunny California Is Freezing Over

By Matthew Foster

Jan 20, 2014 2:55pm
HT denver Stadium Series ml 140120 16x9 608 Dodger Stadium in Sunny California Is Freezing Over

An artist's rendering of Dodger Stadium for the NHL "Stadium Series" in L.A. on Jan. 25, 2014.

Dodger Stadium in sunny southern California is about to freeze over.

The famed stomping grounds of the boys of summer will play host this Saturday to an outdoor NHL game between the Los Angeles Kings and their neighbors, the Anaheim Ducks.

It’s all part of the National Hockey League’s “Stadium Series” — a set of four outdoor games that will take place in famous venues across the country — including Yankee Stadium in New York and Soldier Field in Chicago.

So just how does the NHL keep the ice cold in L.A., where temperatures are expected to be in the high 70s?

The organization’s Vice President of Communications Jamey Horan gave ABCNews.com a quick explanation.

The first step is staging, which is used to level the field. Next up is a layer of plywood, followed by the key component: aluminum ice pans that make up the floor of the rink.

“Inside those pans are tubes filled with coolant coming from a truck outside,” Horan said. Those tubes keep the ice at a very un-L.A.-like 22 degrees, at a thickness of about two inches, which Horan said is about a quarter to a half-inch thicker than a normal rink.

Then they build the walls and make other preparations for the outdoor game, which has become a staple of the NHL in recent years.

“The interest is growing and it’s really a wonderful event for hockey fans,” Horan said.

The league has been posting periodic videos to their website, updating the public on their progress at Dodger Stadium. The process is painstaking work.

“The other night we worked until 6:15 in the morning, last night was until just after four, and we’ll be here until just after four again this morning. We want to make sure that everything is done absolutely right,” NHL Facilities Manager and ice master Dan Craig says in one video.

“Once we get a good base, everything will do well,” he adds.

During this week’s sunny days, the NHL will cover the rink with a giant Mylar blanket, which reflects the heat and insulates the ice at 22 degrees.

The L.A. version of the “Stadium Series” is expected to be quite the spectacle, and Hollywood stars such as Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm are scheduled to be in attendance, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

And in true California style, the festivities don’t end with the hockey game.

The NHL has announced that mere feet from the ice, local beach volleyball players will face off while the hockey game is played, and in another part of the stadium, players will scrimmage on a street hockey rink. Musical acts include KISS and Five for Fighting. The national anthem will be performed by Jordin Sparks.

The game between the Kings and the Ducks will be the southern-most outdoor game in NHL history, the league said. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET. The puck drops half an hour later.

 

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