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To make ice, the floor is chilled to 24 degrees and then a thin sheet of water is poured over the floor. This process is repeated every 20 minutes until a ¾" sheet of ice is made. It takes approximately 12-18 hours to make a ¾" sheet of ice. When 1/3 of the ice thickness is completed, white paint is coated over the ice. When 2/3 of the ice is frozen, the lines and logos are painted onto the ice, then the final 1/3 is laid. During hockey season the ice is left down and is covered with a Styrofoam insulated plastic-coated floor and the basketball floor or concert is placed on top. For the circus the ice is removed and then re-made after the final performance.

Icy Facts:

  • An average of 50,000 gallons of water are used annually to form the ice floor.
  • This is more water than is contained in four standard-size swimming pools.
  • The ice rink floor features more than 13 miles of one-inch steel piping.
  • The floor has over 2,200 welds in the solid concrete slab.
A change over is the physical alteration of the building from one event to another. The change can be simple or it can be dynamic.

For instance, the most difficult change over is from hockey to bullriding and back to hockey, due to the dirt inside the building. If the hockey ice is left down, a layer of insulation is placed on the floor over the ice. Plastic is placed on the insulation to cover the floor and the first two rows of seats. Next a wooden floor is placed on top of the plastic. Seventy to eighty dump trucks bring in seven to eight hundred cubic yards of dirt. A hay spreader is used to insulate the floor with hay underneath to stop the dirt from sticking to the boards. The track, pens and shoots are built and installed. The track is ready for competition in six to eight hours.

After the two-day event, cleaning the dirt out is a time-consuming process. Loaders come inside the building to push the dirt into piles, with dump trucks carrying the dirt out one load at a time. Then fire hoses and scrubbers are brought in to wash the dirt down the drains. Next, a contractor makes sure all the drains are clear. This process is done overnight with the drain cleaning lasting two to three days.

Many times St. Louis Blues Hockey games and Saint Louis Billikens games fall on the same day. These quick change overs allow approximately three hours between events. Changing from hockey to basketball is more difficult than the reverse because the basketball floor is more difficult to lay down than it is to pull up.

It takes a minimum of two hours to complete a hockey to basketball changeover, using 13 maintenance workers and 40-50 call-in laborers. Over 100 cleaners are employed to clean the building during the 2-3 hours between events – a job that normally takes eight hours.

Please send your comments or suggestions to [email protected].

Webmaster e-mails are answered promptly Monday
through Friday during normal business hours.
If you have an urgent event-specific
question in the evening or on weekends,
please call 314-622-5400 during the event
to speak to the event receptionist.

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Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written permission.


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