2020 Stadium Series taking shape at Falcon Stadium

Posted at 10:48 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 00:49:07-05

On a cold and snowy Monday afternoon, many hands were making light work on day 1 of the 2020 Stadium Series build at Falcon Stadium.

"Obviously we can't control what mother nature does but our goal as a group is make sure the playing environment is the best it can be," NHL Senior Manager of Facilities/Operations Mike Craig said.

With less than two weeks until the Avalanche and Kings face-off in Colorado Springs, there's no time to waste.

"Our loading starts today, the flooring is going down on top of the field, we set up our refrigeration truck, our pipping has started," Craig said.

NHL venue guru Mike Craig and his team have put about two dozens of these projects on ice over the years.

"We've had a couple this year, everyone is excited to get started and put on a great event," Craig said.

It all starts with the refrigerated unit pouring 3,000 gallons of glycol coolant onto an aluminum surface. The next step is adding 10,000 gallons of water, spread over time in mist form. Finally, the crew will add the boards, nets and all other equipment necessary to put a full hockey rink together.

"I think as long as we have something around the freezing mark everything will be great," Craig said.

2016 gave Colorado a taste of what to expect in the outdoor elements with the Stadium Series game at Coors Field.

"This is what I'm telling the kids enjoy this moment, because this is not being in a sticky locker room, this is a pure hockey feeling," former Avalanche player Jan Hejda said.

However, this nearly sold out showdown, to be followed by a college hockey rivalry game will prove to be a spectacle all it's own.

"This one I feel is a little different because it's football and a rectangular field and kind of similar in that sense so I think it will be great for the fans," former Avalanche player John Mitchell said.

The plan is for the NHL to begin making ice this week with the rink to be in place before players begin to practice on the surface next Friday.