While the east coast is yet again thinking about their snow storms the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are discussing the fact that in less than two days, hockey will be played outdoors at Dodger Stadium in above 75 degree winter in Southern California.
Hockey in California has always been but a mere dream, to make the sport popular in a state where lakes don’t freeze in the winter to become a pond. When Wayne Gretzky arrived to the Kings in 1988, he didn’t know he would help popularize the sport. After he left in 2007 the Ducks won the Stanley Cup, but it wasn’t until 2012 when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history did the state of California really sink into hockey. Tinsletown had finally become Hockeytown and if that didn’t happen, the Kings and Ducks wouldn’t be making history at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
When the idea was first announced that outdoor hockey would be played in California the first thing that crossed through everyone’s mind was, how? Well, the rink is set and ready to go thanks to some very talented icemen.
So how was the rink made? Staging, a layer of plywood, aluminum ice pans (tubes filled with coolant coming from a truck outside) keeping the ice at 22 degrees and two inches thick (a third thicker than normal), and finally the walls that make an outdoor game.
In true Hollywood fashion there won’t just be hockey played. Over the Dodgers home plate will be a roller hockey floor (tribute to the starting point of California born and raised NHL players), there will be a beach volleyball court in the leftfield, two performance stages to be set (KISS, Jordin Sparks and more), a small pond will be in the right field, and most importantly a NHL size hockey rink in the infield.
Many celebrities are said to attend the event that starts at 6:30 p.m., and the puck is set to drop at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
The Kings and Ducks will make NHL history on Saturday.
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