SPOKANE, Wash. - In a few days the ice at Spokane Arena will belong to the stars. For now, it's all about the painters, as they feverishly work to prep the surface for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships due to begin here in a matter of days.
Crews on Sunday took to the ice after the Spokane Chiefs were finished their game on Saturday. They first shaved the ice down to a precise thickness of ½- inch and began the arduous process of stenciling all the necessary logos.
Once the painting is done they'll flood the floor once again with water to create a thick topcoat of ice.
"With hockey it's a very fluid motion," said one of the supervisors on Sunday. "Hockey skates don't have stoppers on the front and they're not jumping up and down, and they're not doing these huge twirls that are very dangerous. In figure skating they do have stoppers on their skates, they do jump up and down, so the ice needs to be thick enough to handle that, and to hold up over a week and a half."
Once the work on the ice is complete workers will turn their attention to the Arena itself, including a warm-up area in which skaters can practice before they take to the ice in competition.