SBD/January 20, 2014/Events and Attractions

Kings-Ducks A Test For NHL Stadium Series In Southern California

The Coors Light NHL Stadium Series could continue for "at least several more productive years as long as fans of a city want it, and there is no pushback from the players or TV partners," according to Tom Hoffarth of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. NHL COO John Collins said of a possible Kings-Ducks game in Anaheim in '15, "We'll see. It's possible, but we have to see first how this one (at Dodger Stadium) goes and how the ice holds up." Collins added, "There are any number of markets we can go forward with this. The fact that we are now six years into making this investment, and we learn something new every year, gives everyone more confidence in making this fun and creative going forward." Hoffarth noted the NHL "expects all six of its outdoor games" this season "to be sellouts." If the Kings and Ducks can fill 54,000 seats in Dodger Stadium on Saturday, "someone more adept at crunching numbers would have to consider raising the bar and envisioning another outdoor game next season," perhaps at the L.A. Coliseum "with a potential for 90,000-plus." But as more and more NHL teams "see the success other markets are having" with the event, it "might seem that a time could come when the specialness gets lost" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/18).

TINSEL TOWNIES: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Debbie Emery reported actors Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm "will be among the slew of A-list stars" attending the Kings-Ducks game. The event has "attracted a lot of attention from Hollywood stars and industry A-listers, some of whom took to the ice to hit a puck around in their younger years." Singer John Ondrasik -- who is known as Five for Fighting and is "a longtime Kings fan who has written for the team’s website -- will perform during the California game, and as the Kings and the Ducks make their way to the rink set up on the baseball field, the USC Trojan Marching Band will provide musical accompaniment" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 1/19).

HOW THINGS ARE MADE: In L.A., J.P. Hoornstra noted NHL Senior Dir of Facilities Operations Dan Craig and his eight-man crew last Thursday "started laying ice" at Dodger Stadium and "didn't expect to finish the job until" today. The first step in preparing the ice is "to ensure, literally, a level playing field." Once the pitcher's mound was "razed, Craig's crew used a laser to measure the incline of the field." Then about 200 workers brought in the "necessary hardware to build a 200-by-85 foot ice rink: A stage deck to cover the infield, reinforcement plywood to cover the stage deck, and a series of 30-inch by 30-foot aluminum pans on top." Once the dasher boards "have been erected around the rink comes the hard part." Crew members using an 8-foot-wide spray bar "will spray water all over the playing surface." This is all "done by night, when the air is cooler, to maximize the efficiency of the process" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/19).
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