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Outdoor hockey in LA: Putting on the night moves

Los Angeles DodgersIt will take a unique effort to bring NHL hockey to Dodger Stadium in January, with most of the ice work coming in the cool of the night and the rink covered by reflective padding under the hot midday sun.

Let’s face it: when you think outdoor hockey, you don’t think Los Angeles. But the NHL has done a pretty good job in selling outdoor hockey for exposure and profit, and bringing the formula to a warmer clime was inevitable. Add in some improvements in ice-making technology, and you have a potentially cool game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 25. Still, creating and maintaining the ice will be a challenge, and the NHL has a game plan:

The rink will be built on top of the infield, with the end boards near the foul lines and centre ice close to second base. About 40 people will work on assembling the boards and the rest of the setup for a game.

And unlike in cold-weather cities, most of the work will be done at night, when Los Angeles’ temperatures drop to something approaching winter weather. The ice will be covered during the day with reflective, insulated blankets, protecting [NHL senior director of facilities operations Dan] Craig’s work from the sun.

“Everybody that’s coming on the crew knows they’re working from 6 or 7 at night until 6 o’clock the next morning,” Craig said. “We cover the (ice) sheet up, and we’ll go to bed and come back the next day and do it all over again.”

RELATED STORIES: It’s official: Kings, Ducks to face off at Dodger Stadium


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