Construction is well under way on the ice rink at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia where the Flyers will play the New York Rangers in the NHL’s Winter Classic Jan. 2.
Dan Craig, the NHL’s ice guru, is presiding over construction of the rink. By Thursday afternoon, the rink’s sideboards were up, as were the supports for the glass.
Craig said he hopes to start hosing in the necessary 20,000 gallons of water before the weekend starts, even though the first preview game won’t be played until next Friday.
“It’s so that I can sleep at night,” Craig said. “Can we do it in three days? Yes, we can do it in three days. Do I want to do it in six? I want to do it in six.”
NHL vice president Don Renzulli said the unseasonably warm weather will not interfere with ice-making.
“We’ve experienced basically everything you can experience as far as weather. We’ve gone from snowstorms to 60 degree weather and lots of rain last year in Pittsburgh,” Renzulli said. “So I’m confident that we’ll get everything ready and we’ll be playing hockey next week one way or another.”
The ice will be kept at 22 degrees by 1,500 gallons of glycol–a coolant–pumped per minute through pipes under the rink.
The coolant travels through pipes from a refrigeration truck parked outside, over specially built scaffolding that scales the wall of the stadium, then under the rink.