It's a sure sign that hockey season is about to get underway - the ice is going in at the Saddledome in Calgary.
And while everyone dreams of riding the Zamboni, little attention is paid to how the ice gets there in the first place.
Thanks to the Calgary Flames media team, that's all about to change. They posted a video this week that shows a time-lapse of the ice being installed, and it's pretty cool.
In the video you can see dozens of people scurrying around the ice, painting lines and laying fabric, really, really fast.
But, unlike the video, the process takes a little longer than two minutes. According to David Loverock, vice president of Jet Ice Ltd. and ice king for the Calgary Flames, the install takes anywhere from four to six hours.
"The process is relatively simple - it's not that tough to do and what you're trying to do is hide the concrete floor," he says in a seperate explainer video.
David Loverock's Not-So-Secret Ice Recipe
- Start with a concrete surface
- Pour 1/8th of an inch of water onto concrete floor. Watch water freeze.
- Apply three coats of white paint on the ice. Watch paint dry. ("Most people don't actually know that the ice is painted," says Loverock.)
- Add three more coats of water. Watch water freeze between each coat.
- Paint on all lines and circles.
- Apply textile printed fabric logos.
- Add final coats of water. Watch water freeze.
Loverock knows his ice, which he should - he's been in the ice game for over 30 years, and had a hand in overseeing ice for the the '88 Winter Olympics.
He was also the ice man for the Heritage Classic in 2011, but the process changed. It was so cold, Loverock and his team had to use fabric for everything - lines, logos, circles - because the paint would freeze in the extreme temperatures.
Even still, the goal is the same, not matter the temperature or the venue.
"Do it right, do it fast and make it look good."