On Wednesday I got a text from Wayne Bacon. Wayne is the Lead Hand at the Multi Recreation Centre (MRC) in Slave Lake, AB, a busy facility with twin NHL-sized indoor ice surfaces.
My new Town logos came in today. Guess what I’m doing this weekend?
“My new Town logos came in today,” he wrote. “Guess what I’m doing this weekend?”
Putting in new logos or replacement logos mid-season is a task that takes time and effort from the operations team. New sponsors mean new logos, and those new logos don’t always coincide with when the ice is put in at the start of the season. And, let’s face it, many ice arenas are year round facilities, so there is no start, or end.
Three Operators, Three Different Methods
To start this task, the ice, which is typically between an inch and an inch and a quarter thick (or sometimes more) needs to be warmed up. Running the brine temperatures a few degrees higher will make it easier to shave the ice down.
There are a few different ways to get this job done. I reached out to three operators from three different ice rinks to find out how they did it. In Slave Lake, Wayne used only the edger to shave the ice down. In Germany, Kai Michael Festerling uses an edger to start with and then uses the ice resurfacing machine to continue the dry-shaving process. Down in Rapid City, South Dakota, Nathan Kleinschmit marks out the area he wants to and uses only the ice resurfacing machine to shave the ice down.
You’ll want to make sure the blade on the ice resurfacing machine is sharp, and you’ll probably need to change it as soon as the job has been completed.
Wayne and his crew, as you can see by the photo above, actually removed the entire logo and put the new one in its place. Nathan says, “To each their own – I did that once but I won’t do that again. To rip out a logo is a disaster.”
Both Kai and Nathan shave down to just above the old logo and leave it in the ice, using white ice paint to conceal it. Then they add the new logo on top. Then, like they do normally, they seal the logo in with fine-misted layers of water, and build that section of ice back to its previous level. Nathan Kleinschmit uses a paint skid, pictured below, to freeze the replacement logo in place.
Sometimes it’s not a logo, but the entire ice surface that needs to be transformed. Large on-ice skating spectacles and figure skating championships come with their own requirements. That’s usually a solid white base with no lines. And logos of their own.
“When we have an ice show, we shave it down and paint the whole thing white,” says Nathan Kleinschmit. The engineering manager of the 10,000 seat facility hosted a figure skating show that was aired on NBC over the Christmas holidays last year, featuring skating Olympians. The logos they put down on top of the whited-out ice were painted by hand.
“After the show, we zammed up the figure skating and the sheet we painted white. Then we just built it back up for hockey,” Nathan explain
Concealing Logos with White Ice Paint
Covering an existing logo with white ice paint is a big time saver, especially if you have a special event sandwiched in between regular programming. Kai Michael Festerling was faced with a similar situation for an exhibition National Hockey League game being played at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany back in 2018. The white paint easily concealed the logos. Kai is seen spraying over one of those logos in the picture below. Later, the board advertising was also swapped out to feature NHL advertisers.
In Slave Lake, Wayne Bacon and his crew put a total of two replacement logos put in, and added two new logos – one replacement logo and one new logo on each of their two ice surfaces. And the ice looks just like it was meant to be. Take a look: