FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – There are many steps to create the ice that the Fort Wayne Komets play on.
Currently, the ice is under the process of being hand painted. This year the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum asked for volunteers to help paint the logos. They have received between 50 and 70 calls from people wanting to volunteer. Not anyone can volunteer though as some have asked about having their children come out to paint with them, which proves to be a liability issue, according to Randy Brown, General Manager of the coliseum.
Brown said in regard to being a volunteer, the coliseum needs to “have a background check on everyone.” The reality is that it isn’t a volunteer position, it is actually a paid position. “Between some of our T.V. stations and the Komets are live streaming it, there’s just been a lot of interest with people watching how it’s coming together.” To check out the live stream, click here.
First, the slab is cooled down to 14 degrees with cooling pipes that are installed in the slab. The temperature drops at the rate of two degrees per hour, so it takes about 20 hours to cool the slab to 14 degrees.
Once the slab is cooled, they overspray it with water to make a sixteenth of an inch of ice. They then paint it with white biodegradable paint and follow that with another sixteenth of an inch of ice. Once that is set, they proceed to do the layout of the ice which includes chalking out the lines, and adding logos with a stencil.
The next step is to hand-paint the logos. A few of the logos have decals that are placed and topped with a bit of water to set. However, the rest of the logos are hand-painted. The painting has always been done by hand, however, this is the first year that the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum has asked the public for volunteers to help with the painting process. After each logo is painted, they overspray it with water to protect it. The painting process takes about 48 hours to complete.
Once the painting process is finished, a crew of 4 or 5 people will bring out a big hose and overspray the entire rink again and repeat that process twice every hour for 24 hours with a target of 1.25 to 1.5-inch thickness. The ice is then followed up with the Zamboni as they use hot water to condition the ice. This then creates green ice, which the players do not like as it can be “soft or chippy.” Brown explains that the good ice will come after a couple of weeks when the Zamboni makes more runs and when the players use it.