Avista Stadium transformed into outdoor hockey rink

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by KREM.com

NWCN.com

Posted on January 10, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 11 at 10:00 AM

SPOKANE -- Big changes are underway at Avista Stadium to house the first outdoor game for the Western Hockey League.

The baseball field will be home to a hockey rink for the Chiefs-Kootenay match-up Saturday. 

More than 50 layers of ice have already been put down and crews will lay the first coat of paint Monday.

Over the last week, the field has slowly turned into a hockey rink. Crews assembled aluminum plates as the base for the ice rink. Now they have to create the ice.

Layer after later of water is sprayed onto the cool aluminum plates to thicken up the ice. Crews say they have to think of it like paint, they can only do a little bit at a time, let it dry, and then start the next layer. Crews have already sprayed about 50 times, but there is still a long way to go to get the ice three to four inches thick.

What makes it even more difficult is how slippery it is, so crews have to move slowly as they cover the rink.

Snow forecasted for Tuesday night could pose another challenge for the ice, so snow removal teams are on stand-by. They have already had to shovel snow out of the stadium seats once.

The Chiefs need the rink ready by Thursday afternoon for practice.

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