3. Ice is Hidden Below the Floors for Quick Changes to Hockey Games
Due to Madison Square Garden’s busy schedule, the venue often has multiple shows or events on the same day, making efficiency key to running a smooth operation. This is especially the case in the winter, when both the New York Knicks and New York Rangers call the arena home.
To make the quick transition from ice to floor, or vice versa, the ice is kept underneath the basketball court, or stage, and covered with an insulated top to keep it cool. When the venue calls for ice, staff just remove the court or stage and the insulation to reveal the underlying floor of ice. The crew sprays thin layers of water on the 17,000-square-foot surface of the rink, which is chilled by pipes in the concrete, to create the ice. They also hand paint the blue zone lines and red face-off circles. The transition from ice to court usually takes just two hours.