Good Question: How Does The ‘X’ Change Out Ice So Fast?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anyone who watched the high school hockey tournament Wednesday might have noticed the logos on the ice are different from the Wild game the night before. So, how does the X changeover the ice? Good Question.

The changeover started as soon as the Wild finished their game Tuesday night. It took eight people about two hours to put on the new logos in place before crews flooded the rink throughout the night.

During the boys’ high school hockey tournament, the lines and center ice Wild logo remain. The four Wild sponsor logos are changed out for boys’ hockey sponsor logos and crews must put in two additional tournament logos along the blue line.

The first step is to measure where the new logos will sit under the ice above the old logos. Crews use an ice edger to cut the ice in only that spot.

“We’re cutting in exactly where we want so we’re not disturbing any of the ice quality around it,” Travis Larson, ice operations manager at the Xcel Energy Center, said.

Using edgers and resurfacers, crews cut into the ice about three-quarters of an inch. They’ll then start painting white paint over the Wild sponsors’ logos, like Ecolab, Toyota and Xcel Energy. Those logos, along with the lines and Wild logo, are permanently painted into the ice.

“We’ll spray onto the existing logos to white them out so they can’t be seen,” Larson said

For events like Disney on Ice, crews must paint over all of the logos and lines because those events require the ice be completely white.

After the permanent logos are covered, crews will then lay the temporary sponsor logos into place over them. Those logos are on a printed fabric that blend into the white paint. Water then freezes into them and makes them part of the ice.

Throughout the process, the crews use drills to measure the ice thickness. The ice is about 1-and-one-quarter inch thick. The permanent paint is one-eighth of an inch from the ground. The temporary pieces of logo fabric are half an inch above that.

Larson and his team have performed the changeover this season more than a dozen times.

“We will hopefully have two more logo changes,” he said. “The next one is the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Stanley Cup championship.”

More from Heather Brown
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