Friday, July 15, 2011

SMG in the News: Rink workers chill out at in Providence at Ice School 2011

"The Dunk is unseasonably cold this week for Ice School 2011, which brought about 50 people from event centers around the country for three days of really cool training.

Phillip Ransford, 36, stood on the ice Tuesday and wished he had brought heavier socks. The director of operations for the Century Link Center near Shreveport, La., has been making ice for 10 years, so this was a refresher, he joked after consulting his smart phone for the current temperature back home: 104 degrees.

It was 107 in Oklahoma City, where Chris Muldrow, 30, works at the Cox Convention Center. He has been making arena ice for 3½ years, but he and three colleagues were seeing “all the new stuff” from such vendors as Zamboni, ice-paint maker Jet Ice and Athletica, which makes the aluminum “boards” that hockey players crash into.

Usually, The Dunk's hockey rink is created in September, removed for Monster Trucks and the circus, reinstalled, painted over for skating shows, and then scraped down to the hockey lines again for the rest of the Providence Bruins' regular season, which usually ends in May, said Lawrence Lepore, The Dunk's general manager.

Lepore works for SMG, a company based in Pennsylvania that operates arenas around the world. Ice School is SMG's in-house training for venue managers, technicians and engineers. The company last held an Ice School in Tampa six years ago, and it was time for another, said Lepore. Providence was chosen because its crews have been making ice every year since 1972."

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