General Question

buckyboy28's avatar

How long does it take for an ice hockey rink to freeze?

Asked by buckyboy28 (4938points) May 2nd, 2009

In a lot of arenas the crews are able to convert a basketball court over to a hockey rink in time for a night hockey game… so how long does the rink take to freeze over?

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5 Answers

charliecompany34's avatar

hmmmmmmm, interesting question. wish i knew the answer to that.

i think for the bulls and/or blackhawks in chicago (both in playoff status as we speak) the stadium floor is set up to “switch out” for wood or ice floor based on sophisticated technology that allows your thought in question. how they do it, i am not sure. but i do know, at the united center in chicago (the home of michael jordan), both hockey, disney on ice and basketball are all played played interchangeably in the same season in the sane arena.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Although I couldn’t find a time limit for the freezing to take place, it would probably not take long using the techniques listed below that I found at Wikipedia.

Artificial ice rink

In any climate, an arena ice surface can be installed in a properly built space. This consists of a bed of sand, or occasionally a slab of concrete, through (or on top of) which pipes run. The pipes carry a chilled fluid (usually either a salt brine or water with antifreeze) which can lower the temperature of the slab so that water placed atop it will freeze. This methodology is known as ‘artificial ice’ to differentiate from ice rinks made by simply freezing water in a cold climate, indoors or outdoors, although both types are of frozen water. A more proper technical term is ‘mechanically frozen’ ice.


Modern rinks have a specific procedure for preparing the surface:

- With the pipes cold, a thin layer of water is sprayed on the sand or concrete to seal and level it (or in the case of concrete, to keep it from being marked).

- This thin layer is painted white or pale blue, for better contrast; markings necessary for hockey or curling are also placed, along with logos or other decorations.

- Another thin layer of water is sprayed on top of this.

- The ice is built up to a thickness of 2–3 centimetres (approx. 1.2 inches) by repeated flows of water onto the surface.

charliecompany34's avatar

bulls out of playoffs, but water still freezes no matter what. oh well.

jrpowell's avatar

I was always under the impression that the bball floor was put over the ice. I know the floor for bball comes in sections.

goose756's avatar

@johnpowell you’re right, they usually cover the rink and then put the floor over it.. theres actually a high-speed video of this conversion somewhere that I saw a while back.. I’m sure it’s on youtube.

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