frozen hockey rinks

How Do Hockey Rinks Stay Frozen?

Ice rinks are the best place to spend recreational time; they are used for playing ice hockey, figure skating, and speed skating. It is fascinating how twelve months a year they remain frozen. Even if an excruciatingly hot temperature is outside, the hock rinks will still be frozen perfectly.

It makes everyone question how hockey rinks stay frozen. Well, there is a phenomenon engineered to perfection that keeps the hockey rink frozen. It is just pure solid ice, unlike the real one, where there is cold water beneath the layer of an ice block. It is created artificially and is all ice till its depth.

Today I will walk you through why it stays frozen all the time and what methods are used to do so. 

The Science of Layering

Ice rinks are marvelous evidence of the human mind and the state of the art coming out of it. Making water freeze and utilizing the base to create athletic excellence is beyond epic. There is a well-researched technology of layering and using various scientific tendencies to make it happen. 

The Base Layer

The foundation of the ice hockey rink is laid on the base layer with careful construction. It builds over hard surfaces like concrete to support the weight. The cover is engineered with an intricate network of pipes running beneath the surface. This layer serves crucially for regulating temperature control.

Are Hockey Rink Cold know your answer

The Ice Layer

Creating an ice layer is an art; you might think the water is poured like a swimming pool and then frozen. No, on the base, the thin layer of water is sprayed; when it freezes completely, the other layer is spread on the top. The process continues until the desired thickness is achieved.

To keep up with the shape of ice, the phenomenon utilized is the “Zamboni effect.” The Zamboni machine is a fixture for ice rinks that resurfaces the ice by shaving the top layer off. Removing the top uneven surface after a few games is necessary to save the top cover from being erratic. 

After the removal, hot water is sprawled on the surface that flows in, closing the cracks. This helps to get an overall smooth and even surface once again.

The Refrigeration Layer

This is where you know that the heart of being ice rink frozen lies in the refrigeration layer. These systems employ a cooling agent, often brine or glycol, to circulate through the pipes embedded in the rink’s base.

It works by maintaining the temperature slightly below the freezing point of water, typically between 16 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 to -4 degrees Celsius). The technique seems helpful for maintaining the authoritarian ice structure, even against friction during game time. Get an estimation on the refrigerator layer for whole hockey rink dimension to get an idea.

The Insulation Layer

The insulation layer is critical to protect the rink against any external factor. So, insulation materials are placed around the side and underneath the rink, preventing heat from seeping inside the ice structure. 

When the rink is empty, then insulation might not be needed. However, it is necessary to against heat protection during game time from the heat emitted by players, spectators, and arena lights.

how do hockey rinks stay frozen

Precautions to Take for Hockey Ice Rinks

Hockey ice rinks or any ice rinks are constructed to stay frozen all the time. Now that you are familiar with the structuring applied to making them, certain precautions are taken afterward. 

These precautions help elongate the life of ice rinks and protect them from expected damage. Building an ice rink can cost a lot of money, so taking care of it keeps it safe for a great time.

Temperature ControlMaintain the arena slightly below freezing.
RefrigerationCirculate cooling agents in base pipes.
InsulationPrevent heat infiltration with insulation.
Layered IceApply thin water layers for uniform freeze.
Regular MaintenanceResurface with Zamboni and hot water for smoothness.
Climate ControlRegulate temperature and humidity inside.
Environmental MonitorWatch temperature, humidity, and ice quality.
Energy EfficiencyUse green tech like geothermal and solar.
Crowd ManagementLimit people to avoid excess heat.
Arena LightingOptimize lighting to reduce heat.
Weather ForecastPrepare for external temperature factors.
Emergency ProtocolsPlan for outages, malfunctions.


There is a complex science fusion with art behind how hockey rinks stay frozen. The base layer is designed to support the piping network for temperature regulation. The ice layers are designed with small sprays of water to make it into firmness. Then comes the refrigeration layer using cooling agents brine or glycol to keep it frozen. Lastly, insulation layers help keep the rink safe from heat due to external factors.

Certain precautions are taken to keep the structure of the rink safe for a more extended period. 


The ice hockey rink is built on a firm surface like concrete or a layer of gravel and sand. These surfaces have a network of pipelines that run cold water or gas to keep it frozen or hot water to defrost the cover as required.

The ice rinks are dissolved once the game season or league is finished; the hot brine water is circulated through the pipes, which melts the ice dissolving the rink.

The ice is not frozen on the surface once; instead, the thin layer of water is sprayed on the base layer, frozen by other thin layers, and so on. It makes the ice rink tougher and sturdier. 

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