Keeping an ice cube frozen in San Antonio is hard enough – let alone a full sheet of ice capable of hosting a professional hockey game.
But last week, the crew at the AT&T Center tackled the three-day, around-the-clock process of creating the ice for the upcoming Rampage hockey season, which kicks off at home on Oct. 13 against the Texas Stars.
“It’s the most exciting time of the year right now,” said Ryan Snider, director of business operations for the Rampage. “The crew is working hard to paint the lines and the logos and put down the ice. That can only mean one thing; hockey season is right around the corner.”
The first step in the process was to clear the humidity out of AT&T Center and lower the temperature of the floor to 13 degrees, a tough task when the temperature in San Antonio last week hovered in the high-80s.
Next, the crew sealed the floor with clear water before painting the entire surface white. After another round of water was applied to seal in the white paint, the crew began the 10-hour process of hand-painting the logos.
When the logos were dry, clear water was sprayed on the floor by hand until the ice reached a quarter inch in thickness – a process that took nearly 10 hours.
The final step required nearly a day and a half of flooding with the zamboni to create ice with a thickness of an inch.
“We try and make sure it looks new for every game,” said Ron Snead, the director of facility services at AT&T Center. “That’s why we cover it when it’s not being used to keep it from frosting up.”
Although the process of creating the ice is now complete, the work to maintain the sheet and keep it in tip-shape never stops.
“We are always conditioning it with our zamboni’s adding more water,” Snead added. “We want everyone to have a pretty piece of ice to skate on. The players really appreciate it when it’s nice and hard and they can see the lines.”
Watch the below video to learn the ins and outs of the three-day process.