Cold, hard facts: Ice rink will be ready for Winter Classic

Despite the warm weather and the recent rain, the outdoor ice rink at Citizens Bank Park will be ready for Monday’s Winter Classic–the National Hockey League’s one outdoor game of the season.

By slowly and gently spraying the frozen surface with mist, NHL engineers had built up over an inch of ice by Wednesday night, when they covered the entire surface with a layer of white paint to hide the refrigerating system underneath. Another inch of ice will be added on top of the paint.

The recent rain did not hamper progress, but actually helped a little.

“The refrigeration system is an intricate and capable unit, so it is able to keep the ice pans at a very cold level–22 degrees,” said Jamey Horan, vice president of communication for the NHL. “Any water we spray or precipitation is automatically frozen.”

Temperatures are expected to climb to the mid-50s on New Year’s Day, but Horan says the rink will be ready for the National Hockey League’s signature event.

The large crowd expected for the game between the Flyers and the New York Rangers has prompted SEPTA to offer free train service on the Broad Street Line Monday afternoon.

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