Q&A Answer #3
"I have 1 for you...Is it true that figure skaters and hockey players like the ice at different temps? If so how do you deal with that for disney on ice and other figure skating events?
Yes, hockey players like the ice to be "fast" while figure skaters prefer it "slow." We keep the ice usually under 20 degrees for hockey. It stays harder, noticeably harder, and therefore skates faster. Figure skates like it to feel soft and skate slower, it helps their precision on their moves.
The chiller system controls the temperature of the brine that is pumped out in pipes in the concrete under the ice, so it can be raised just like an air conditioning thermostat. Also, we build up the ice depth for figure skating by flooding extra, a lot extra, with the Zamboni in preparation for them. For Disney, we even paint the surface white before adding the depth to cover all the logos and lines. This added depth increases the mass of the ice so the chillers can't keep it quite as cold. Also ice is an insulator so the added depth makes the top softer because it is further insulated from the pipes/concrete. The extra depth is needed because some of this big jumps take out huge chunks.
When the are finished, we shave the ice back down to the lower depth, which takes away that soft top layer and reduces the mass so the chillers work more effectively. We lower the temperature back down and restore the ice to hockey condition. It takes a day or two to reach a nice equilibrium but it works out OK.
AND How much work is it to get the ice back to playing ready after an event where the floor is put down (basketball game or concert)?"
I just stared doing this since I because the full time Ice Meister, after retiring from a local police department. It somewhat depends on the size of the show - large scale shows with lots of stage rigging, video boards, etc. take longer for the roadies to load up. Usually 2-3 hours. Then a crew of about 22 workers put all the glass back up and in some cases even have to put up dasher boards that were removed. Then they take up all the "Pro Deck" from covering the ice. That process takes 3-4 hours.
Then I go on with the Zamboni because the Pro Deck leaves dust and fibers all over the ice. Also spilled drinks leak between the Pro Deck boards. This takes me about 2 hours to dry-shave all that out and then put restore a couple of Zamboni tanks of water to rebuild the depth.
This is a really good explanation of the ice process.
We usually go a little colder for hockey because our building does not have all the latest greatest technology to maintain equilibrium. If we keep it too warm, and then inject 10,000 people in there all breathing and adding temperature and humidity, the ice will get too soft, too quick.
We don't really have a chipping problem and players, coaches, and refs. generally compliment our ice.