Many scenarios that include the New York Rangers playing hockey this season would seem to indicate that some games could be played in June or July. While that sounds good, it presents a problem form many stadiums around the United States as stadium ice can be tricky to keep in proper shape during summer months. While this is very true for teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and other southern destinations, the same could be true for the Rangers and the crew at MSG. Most are quite aware that summers can be quite sultry in the NYC area.
The NHL has specific specifications for their rinks
The NHL recommendation is for ambient air to be between 60 and 64 degrees at 40 to 44 percent humidity. One of the biggest challenges happens when the doors open to allow spectators to enter the arena. While many arenas have the equipment to help maintain these standards, but once the doors are open and all that hot, humid air starts coming in, there is no way to pull the humidity back out with the people in buildings. Once you get thousands of people in the building for a game, you are adding to the humidity with people talking and yelling and screaming and the general body heat warming the air. This issue may be solved if fans are not permitted into games, especially the ones that are played earlier in the playoffs.
Year-round rinks sometimes struggle with summer ice
In conversing with an upstate New York rink manager about this issue, the manager stated that even for smaller rinks without many fans struggle with the quality of the ice. He states that in the summer, they do a couple of things to help eliminate the main culprit of ice issues, the humidity.
Players and fans entering the building, as stated earlier, create the most significant problem. This rink only opens its doors that are furthest away from the rink. He also mentioned that one of the challenges that rinks face in summer is the fogging of the rink glass.
“We have a big issue with the glass starting to fog over during many summer days,” but he acknowledged that larger arenas with good dehumidifying systems should not have to worry about that. Those systems help in the process of removing moisture from the air to control humidity, often in commercial buildings and industrial processes.
If teams play games in the summer, they will have to be wary of this because of the uncertainty of what the weather’s going to do. But ii is definitely something that the Rangers and other teams are going to be forced to deal with if games are played this summer.