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How much water went into outdoor hockey rink at Dodger Stadium?

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 - 11:27 am

Q: The National Hockey League created an ice rink in Dodger Stadium to host an ice hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. How many millions of gallons of water (or acre feet) were used to create the rink? What happened to the water after the game? How many millions of dollars did the NHL rake in from this gimmick? What percentage of the profits will be shared back with the LA-DWP ratepayers? How can the City of Los Angeles and the Counties of Los Angeles and Orange justify such a waste of this precious commodity in a time of drought? Should those of us in Nor Cal have to subsidize these wasteful activities? – Wendy Reddish, Grass Valley

A: Ice for a hockey rink takes far less water than you might guess: about 12,000 to 15,000 gallons. The ice surface typically is 3/4 to 1 inch thick; the thicker the ice, the slower and softer it becomes during play.

Made slightly thicker to make up for evaporation, the Dodger Stadium rink used about 15,000 gallons, according to the NHL. Under current Los Angeles Department of Water and Power rates, that water cost about $95. It probably was the cheapest component in creating the rink.

A NHL regulation rink is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide; that’s 17,000 square feet. So, less than a gallon per square foot is used to form the ice. By comparison, weekly irrigation (1 inch of water) of a lawn that same size would be almost 11,000 gallons.

For the Dodger Stadium rink, a sub-floor was built with 243 aluminum panels filled with 3,200 gallons of coolant. That kept the finished ice at 22 degrees F.

More than 54,000 fans – three times a capacity crowd at Staples Center, home of the L.A. Kings – turned out Jan. 25 for the first outdoor NHL regular season game to be held in California. That attendance definitely was a big win for both hockey franchises and the NHL, which uses profit sharing among its teams. (Total gate receipts and profits were not disclosed.)

Those fans paid taxes not only on their tickets but concessions and souvenirs; that was a winner for the City of Los Angeles and state of California. The average NHL fan spends $76 a game including tickets, food and drinks. That adds up to more than $4.1 million for this one-time event.

After play, the ice melted and the water irrigated the stadium’s turf and landscaping. The rink’s recycled water took the place of irrigation water that would have been used for that purpose.

Submit your question for The Sacramento Bee’s water team.

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

Read more articles by Debbie Arrington

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