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Work begins today on Dodger Stadium ice-sheet installation

Rendering of Dodger Stadium hockey

It is sure to be an interesting experiment, as trucks will arrive today to Dodger Stadium to begin laying down the ice sheet for the NHL’s Stadium Series.

Putting ice down in a warmer climate, of course, will be a challenge. It’s been done before: in September 1991 the visionaries at Caesars Palace put down an ice sheet for a preseason game between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. (It’s shown below.) Though the temperature at game time was 85 degrees, the ice reportedly held up well, and the crowd got to see Wayne Gretzky in action.

Outdoor hockey at Caesars Palace

Today’s ice-making machinery is a lot more sophisticated than the units used in 1991, of course. And the ice-making team is taking a different approach at Dodger Stadium: the ice will be covered with reflective pads in the day, and crews will work on the ice during the cooler nights.

Another thing in common with the 1981: Wayne Gretzky. He’ll be attending his first NHL game in four years, breaking a self-imposed boycott stemming from his ill-fated participating in the Phoenix Coyotes fiasco. But that will end when he’s honored by the Kings during the game against the Anaheim Ducks. That’s fitting: his arrival with the Los Angeles Kings basically saved pro hockey in Southern California.

Also slated as a participant: the legendary Vin Scully. He’ll be on hand to greet the ice trucks today, and he’ll be participating in some form during the Jan. 25 game.

RELATED STORIES: Outdoor hockey in LA: Putting on the night moves; It’s official: Kings, Ducks to face off at Dodger Stadium


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