iWireless Center Workers Begin Ice Rink Installation

October  01, 2013

Before the Quad City Mallards can begin training camp next week, they have to have ice. So workers at the iWireless Center have begun preparing the arena for the new hockey season.

Maintenance superintendent, Rob Hoogerwerf, says the whole process takes about ten days to complete. His team started last Monday.

"We have 2,000 sheets of insulation, lays on the concrete floor," said Hoogerwerf. "And then we lay out our tubes that the chemical flows through to freeze the ice. And then we put 100 tons of sand on top of that. Then we moisten the sand, get it really saturated so it will freeze. And that's our base. And then we start building our ice from there. Once the sand is completely covered, and we have a nice smooth floor, then we paint it white."

On Tuesday, Hoogerwerf painted the ice white, and eight people then got down on their hands and knees to begin painting the in-ice markings and logos. The Mallards logo in the center of the rink will take about eight hours to complete. 

Once painting is all done, Hoogerwerf slowly adds one and half inches of ice.  

"The completed project, once it's all done," said Hoogerwerf, "It looks bright white like it is. It won't look like that for long, once they start skating on it. But once we're done, you take pride in what the end product looks like."

Hoogerwerf says his team will have to finish installing the ice by Thursday evening, when an adult league is scheduled to play at the iWireless Center. He says throughout the year, the ice requires a lot of maintenance. 

The Mallards will play their first home game October 19th against the Rapid City Rush.