Cold, Hard Facts



How the ice floor is created at the Amway Center

Norma Lopez Molina

 

Q: How is the ice floor created for hockey games at Amway Center?
 
Crews remove insulated fiberglass panels from the Amway floor before a Disney on Ice show.
A: After debunking rumors of labor gleaned from Antarctican penguin farms, Answer Man decided to visit the Amway and get to the bottom of the ice question. The bottom, it turns out, is a concrete slab containing chilling pipes that freeze the surface to 14 degrees.
Since basketball and hockey seasons overlap, and Orlando’s Magic and Solar Bears teams both will be using the arena, the floor serves as a basketball court on some nights and an ice rink on others. So at the beginning of the season, says Amway operations manager Marshall Palmer, workers spray a one-inch sheet of ice atop the slab. (That ice surface stays put, except for one melting/respraying around midseason.) To accommodate basketball games, insulated fiberglass panels are placed over the ice and sections of parquet basketball flooring are then put atop the panels. If a hockey game is the next event, the floor and panels are removed down to the ice. For concerts, the parquet is removed but the panels remain.
Now for the cool stuff: That sheet of ice is made up of 10,000 gallons of water. To get it just right, workers walk along with a machine that sprays a fine mist in a process that takes 24 hours–and 40 miles of back-and-forth walking, Palmer says.
Also, figure skaters require soft ice (about 22 degrees) that can handle their jumps and landings as their skates dig into the surface. Hockey players, meanwhile, are looking for speed and fast puck movement, so they like a harder ice floor of about 16 degrees. Palmer and his crew can adjust the temperature of the chilling pipes to satisfy both groups.
 
Q: What’s the story behind the scrunched-up Volkswagen Bug parked outside Ice Cold Auto Air?
 
A: The 1967 Beetle has been outside the auto air-conditioning business at the corner of East Colonial Drive and FeThe Bug is driveable—sort of.rncreek Avenue for about 15 years. What causes passers-by to do a double take is that somebody has taken a 4-foot-chunk out of it.
That somebody would be Jim Chute, owner of Ice Cold. He and a former business partner decided a shortened Bug would be a cool novelty item, so they cut the middle out, welded the remaining pieces together, reinforced the frame and reconfigured the gear/brake linkage. Which means that, yes, this baby still runs, although, Chute notes, “It’s not really something you want to drive down the street. With any kind of speed, it’s so short that it’s not really that controllable.’’ Even so, Answer Man, ever the danger ranger, was eager to take the Bug out for a spin. Until he learned it’s not air-conditioned.
 
 
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:

 

Guides & Resources

Fall Getaways

Fall is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Real Estate's Hot 100

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell real estate, getting the best deal means finding an agent who possesses savvy and know-how and gets results. This list showcases some Central Florida agents who have demonstrated those skills.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgeons 2014

This special advertising section highlights the accomplishments of plastic surgeons, who tell about their commitment to helping people look their best.

Orlando's Best Lawyers of 2014

Get informed with our annual list of more than 400 Orlando-area attorneys, compiled by Best Lawyers in America. The annual selection features lawyers in 78 areas of practice.

Spotlight on Lawyers 2014

Our special advertising section featuring profiles on local lawyers.

Premier Doctors

This special advertising section highlights the professionalism, backgrounds and achievements of dozens of doctors.

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Handmade Home: Rustic Fall Finds

These seasonal homespun items will get you ready to cozy up for fall.

Raise a Glass

Wine is no longer just for sommeliers at fancy restaurants or trips to Europe and Napa.

Art Flashback

A bit of whimsy and a whole lot of pop can be found at Boom-Art Gallery on Ivanhoe Row.

Pickling recipes from Chef Chris Brown, executive chef at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes hotel.