Crews with Rink Specialists have started the process of making ice on the outdoor rink at Fifth Third Field, in preparation of Toledo Walleye Winterfest.
Dave Fies, VP of Operations for Rink Specialists, says they started to flood the rink surface around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, and will continue to do that around the clock until they’re ready to paint the ice white. “It’s building up fast. The weather is being cooperative, there’s no direct sunlight on it. We can possibly start to paint the ice white on Saturday, but that all depends on the weather.” After the ice is painted, a thin coat of ice is put on top of that before the lines and logos are applied to the rink surface, with another layer of ice on top of the lines and logos.
According to Fies, they will get the ice anywhere between 2-3 inches thick, which is significently thicker compared to ice made on indoor hockey rinks. “We had a thunderstorm at Frozen Fenway last year, which put inches of warm water on the ice. Warm water melts that top surface, which has the potential to wash the lines out. That’s why the ice on an outdoor rink needs to be a little thicker.”
The outdoor rink is expected to be fully operational by early next week.
Follow along as crews prepare the stadium with additional photos and blog updates on the Walleye’s Winterfest page. Fans can also check out the progress in real time by watching live-stream video of the rink build.
A limited number of tickets remain for the games. For additional information, click here.