How Fifth Third Field will transform for Winterfest 2014

<span id="bIImageViewer_CaptionTextID">A rendering of what Winterfest 2014 will look like from atop Fifth Third Field.</span>


hen the Toledo Walleye play their first-ever outdoor games, and the first for the ECHL, this December, they'll be playing on a specialty rink constructed by a company known for helping to develop outdoor hockey events.

North Carolina-based Rink Specialists Inc. has been awarded the contract to construct the temporary outdoor rink inside Fifth Third Field for Winterfest 2014, presented by ProMedica, to be held Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015.

The company has constructed multiple NHL rinks for outdoor games, including Frozen Fenway and the rink for Comerica Park's Hockeytown Winter Festival.

"We're excited to bring outdoor hockey to Toledo, Ohio and the ECHL for the very first time," says Rich Cubin, Owner-Vice President of Rink Specialists, Inc. "Toledo is the #1 Minor League sports market in America and a perfect fit for our next outdoor hockey production."

READ: Toledo Walleye set opponents for Winterfest outdoor hockey games

Winterfest's regulation-sized rink inside Fifth Third Field will take three weeks to build and will be 200-feet long by 200-feet wide. It will stretch from first base to third base. Two goals will stand at the opposing bases.

The field's turf will be stripped before construction of the rink can begin. After that, Rink Specialists will put down a protective flooring, followed by a foam board, and another layer of special protective flooring. On top of that, the playing surfaced will be laid.

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A 430-ton chiller system will be placed outside the rink to keep the ice frozen throughout the 10-day event. The final touches will be to put up dasher boards and paint the ice.

Intrigued? You can watch the entire building process live at beginning in early December.