Kings host ice painting party

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On Monday morning, the Operations crew at Staples Center began building the ice for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

Fans painting the ice (Maren Angus)
Fans painting the ice (Maren Angus)

Once the Los Angeles Sparks finished playing Sunday night, the arena was cooled down and the floor stripped down to the concrete, which has to be 18 degrees Fahrenheit before they can start pouring water.

This season will mark the 16th for the Kings at the Staples Center.

“To make the NHL ice we use approximately 10,000 gallons of water, “ said Operations Manager George Rios. “Within a three-day period, it is poured on a concrete slab.”

“Our crew comes in around 6 a.m. and we seal the concrete with clear water. Then we spray with white paint. Once we get the base down, we seal that with clear water again and we start the process of hand painting the lines and logos, which takes about 12 hours. We continue spraying for two days. The thickness of the ice has to go from an inch and a quarter to an inch and half according to NHL regulation.”

Because the building is so busy, the ice is built once and stays throughout the season.

The Kings invited a group of season ticket holders and some die-hard fans to help with the painting process.

Michelle Ridenour won a contest through Bailey’s Buddies and was informed Sunday morning that she won the opportunity to paint the ice.

“I texted my boss frantically, got my half a day vacation, texted my friend and I invited her for her 23rd birthday.”

Bailey the Kings Lion (Maren Angus)
Bailey the Kings Lion (Maren Angus)

Ridenour, along with her friend Amber Hall and the rest of the group experienced a locker room tour and hung out in the Player’s Lounge before heading out onto the ice and becoming a permanent part of the upcoming season.

The girls wrote a variety of messages along the blue line that included everything from prayers for friends to the simple, yet powerful, “Go Kings Go.”

“I said it was my birthday and go Kings go,” said Hall, “I also put my name and my nickname “The Captain” because I play hockey and was the captain of our charity team for Be The Match (National Marrow Donor Program) and I put my number on the ice.”

The two friends agreed that they had a great experience.

“I know when I’m watching the game, I wrote on the ice and I helped do something to give them support,” said Ridenour. “Hockey and the Kings organization and all the people I’ve met through it have become family to me so it really means a lot.”

 Video by Claudia Gestro