HERSHEY -- Next step: ice.
Workers have finished building the hockey rink at Hersheypark Stadium for the 2013 Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic.
The group, led by Ice Rink Events, a company with 30 years of experience constructing seasonal outdoor rinks in places like Green Bay, New York and Mexico City, turned on the hose late this afternoon for the first time, flooding the playing surface.
"I've never been in an area where everybody has ownership in this project," said Outdoor Classic project manager Jim Hartnett. "Its been a plus; there's really been no negatives from this venue's point of view."
Painting lines on the surface could happen this weekend.
The Hershey Bears will face the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins on Sunday, January 20. An alumni game will be held on Saturday. Tickets are still available, according to Melissa Stradnick, Public Relations Manager for Hershey Entertainment.
Hartnett believes the warmer temperatures have actually helped with the installation. He added the freezing process works best in temperatures between 40-45 degrees; allowing the mechanical components underneath to freeze the water from the bottom up.
The simple layout of the stadium has also assisted workers.
"It's one of the best spots we've been," said Donald "Scooter" Mosher of Ice Rink Events. "Usually we have to go down tunnels and all that for a football field.
"But this is ideal."