Addition of ice marks tangible milestone in TCC transformation - Tucson News Now

Addition of ice marks tangible milestone in TCC transformation

Workers carrying a large hose walk back and forth across the Tucson Convention Center hockey rink, spraying a fine mist onto the sub-freezing concrete adding layer after layer of ice. (Source: KOLD News 13) Workers carrying a large hose walk back and forth across the Tucson Convention Center hockey rink, spraying a fine mist onto the sub-freezing concrete adding layer after layer of ice. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Convention Center is being transformed into an ice hockey arena for the Tucson Roadrunners, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes.

It will take three days to make the perfect ice to National Hockey League specifications, a painstaking and tedious process.

A half dozen workers carrying a large water hose walk back and forth across the hockey rink spraying a fine mist onto the sub-freezing concrete adding layer after layer until the ice reaches about one and a quarter inches.

Starting with the fourth layer, white paint is added to give the surface the traditional white appearance.

About halfway through the process, the blue and red lines along with the team logos are painted into the ice.

Five years ago, few would have thought what is happening at the TCC today would have been possible.

In 2011, the TCC had fallen into disrepair as the city and Rio Nuevo planned for a new convention hotel and arena.

Funding for the upkeep had been slashed. Concerts and other events bypassed Tucson because the facilities were not up to standards.

Plastic ties were used to hold hand railings together. Seats were torn and repaired using duct tape, which was also used to repair broken fixtures.

But when the city made the decision to scrap plans for a hotel and new convention center, it because evident there were serious problems that needed to be addressed.

Rio Nuevo stepped up to the plate, invigorated by new leadership and new goals.

Flush with cash, the first step was to renovate the arena.

The budget is $8 million.

A new sound system, new scoreboard, new seating, restroom facilities, electrical system and new paint have brought the TCC to the point it can host not only concert acts which had bypassed Tucson in recent years, but also a professional sports team.

The Tucson Roadrunners begin practice Oct. 3 with its first home game Oct. 28.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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