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.
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
The ice rink floor features more than 13 miles of one-inch steel
The floor has over 2,200 welds in the solid concrete slab.
WHAT IS A CHANGE OVER?
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.
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.