How Do They Get Ice In A Hockey Arena

How Do They Get Ice In A Hockey Arena?
1. Start with a concrete base: The first step in creating ice in a hockey arena is to have a solid concrete base. This provides a sturdy foundation for the ice and ensures it remains stable during games and practices.

2. Install a cooling system: Next, a cooling system is installed beneath the concrete base. This system consists of a series of pipes and refrigeration units that circulate coolant throughout the area. The coolant helps to lower the temperature of the concrete and eventually freeze the water that will become the ice layer.

3. Lay down the ice mats: Once the cooling system is in place, large ice mats are laid down on top of the concrete. These mats have a network of small tubes that allow the coolant to flow through them. The mats are interconnected, creating a continuous surface for the ice layer.

4. Add water: After the ice mats are in place, several layers of water are slowly added to create the ice sheet. The water is typically sprayed onto the mats with a specialized machine that ensures even distribution. Each layer is allowed to freeze before adding the next one to build up the thickness of the ice.

5. Maintain the ice: Once the ice layer is formed, it requires regular maintenance to ensure it remains in optimal condition. This includes resurfacing the ice between periods and games to repair scratches and bumps that may have occurred during play.


1. How long does it take to make ice in a hockey arena?
Making ice in a hockey arena can take anywhere from 2 to 3 days. The process of adding multiple layers of water and allowing each layer to freeze takes time to ensure the ice is thick and durable.

2. What temperature is the ice kept at?
The ice in a hockey arena is typically kept at a temperature of around 22 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-5.5 to -4 degrees Celsius). This allows for optimal playing conditions, as it prevents the ice from melting too quickly during intense gameplay.

3. Can the ice in a hockey arena melt?
While the ice in a hockey arena is carefully maintained at a low temperature, it is still possible for it to melt under certain conditions. Exposure to direct sunlight or a malfunction in the cooling system could cause the ice to melt.

4. How often is the ice resurfaced?
The ice in a hockey arena is usually resurfaced between periods and games. This process involves shaving a thin layer off the top of the ice and then spraying a thin layer of hot water, which smooths out any imperfections and creates a new playing surface.

5. How thick is the ice in a hockey arena?
The ice in a hockey arena is typically around 1.25 to 1.5 inches (3.2 to 3.8 centimeters) thick. This thickness ensures the ice is strong enough to withstand the weight of players and equipment without cracking.

6. Why is a concrete base necessary for the ice?
A concrete base is necessary for the ice in a hockey arena because it provides stability and prevents shifting or cracking of the ice. It also acts as a barrier against moisture and helps to evenly distribute the cold temperature from the cooling system.

7. What happens if the cooling system fails?
If the cooling system in a hockey arena fails, it can have a significant impact on the ice quality. The temperature of the ice will start to rise, which can lead to it melting and becoming unsuitable for play. In such cases, emergency measures have to be taken to repair the cooling system or bring in portable ice-making equipment.

Creating ice in a hockey arena involves laying ice mats on a concrete base, installing a cooling system, and slowly adding layers of water to form the ice sheets. Regular maintenance, including ice resurfacing, is crucial to keep the playing surface in optimal condition. The process can take several days, and a temperature of around 22 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit is maintained to ensure the ice remains solid.