Dodger stadium ice gets its first use. David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net
The National Hockey League's ice gurus have finished installing a rink on the grass at Dodger Stadium, and as part of the week's activities local media and alumni of the Kings (and I assume some Ducks) were invited to come out for a skate. A pick-up game between celebrities, alums and the media who play followed. As I've mentioned before, this isn't the first outdoor hockey game in Los Angeles by a long shot — but it is certainly the biggest hockey event to be held here. Unless you count the Kings' Stanley Cup parade. The Kings and Ducks are expecting something close to a capacity crowd for Saturday evening's game. The gates will open early for a plethora of activities for fans. The teams are practicing at the stadium today to get used to the ice. The temperature could be around 78 degrees for Saturday's 6:30 game. The ice will be fine, but it will be strange for the players to go all out at that warmth.
Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty observed the ice christening the other night.
The ice got its first test on January 22, when the media were invited to a free skate, which was followed by a game between Ducks and Kings teams that featured alumni, team staff, local broadcast media, and a handful of celebrities.
[Kings assistant GM Rob] Blake and former Kings left wing Luc Robitaille, now their President/Business Operations, played in that game and they shared their observations on the ice conditions.
“It’s the same [as what the Kings skate on at Staples Center],” said Blake. “Same temperature, same feel, and everything. No better, no worse. It’s very similar.”
“[The crew] did a great job,” said Robitaille. “The ice feels great. We were the first group to get on the ice—they’ve done a good job, and I’m looking forward to Saturday now.”
Robitaille noted that the first time an ice sheet is skated on is an entirely different thing.
“This is brand new ice, and we were all talking—the pros—that this is pretty good ice, for the first time [that anyone had skated on it],” he said. “Normally, when you get on [an ice sheet] for the first time, it’s tough to break it in. It’s choppy, and it wasn’t at all. It felt pretty good. Considering that this was the first time, I think it was really, really good.”
LA Observed will be taking in the scene on Saturday.