Sizzling acts like Justin Timberlake, Jessie J and Bruno Mars may have been the hottest tickets in town – but they’ve been chilling at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena, writes Graham Walker.
So have the city’s aptly named Arctic Monkeys.
Fans on the Arena floor may not have realised but they’ve also been dancing on ice for the past eight months.
That’s how long the one-inch thick layer of ice has been set – used by the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey and touring skate shows – with a special floor covering in place during concerts and other events. But the Arena’s own ‘Ice Man’ cometh this week, when Dave Roddis and his team finally removed all 180 square meters of it for the summer season.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Simon Waller’s exclusive video report.
Just as a groundsman may lovingly tender Wembley turf, the wicket at Lord’s or the centre court at Wimbledon, Dave spends hours on end ensuring the ice is in tip top condition.
It has to be, with an average of 28 ice hockey games and 11 Disney On Ice performances every year.
And the rewards are when Britain’s Olympic ice skating legends tell you it’s the best, he says.
Dave said: “There is a lot of work goes into looking after the ice and it needs constant attention when it is place, although it’s all made worthwhile when Olympic gold medallists Torvill and Dean tell you it’s the best ice they’ve skated on throughout the whole of the 2014 Dancing On Ice tour”.
Abigail Congreve, deputy marketing manager at the venue, added: “Ice is something very close to the heart of the Motorpoint Arena because for eight months of the year it is firmly in place, which means that when you come to a concert between the months of September and April you are actually sitting, standing or perhaps even dancing on top of the ice!
“The frozen floor is an integral part of the building’s ability to host such events as ice hockey and Disney On Ice.
“We said goodbye to Dancing On Ice as the Live Tour made its last ever appearance here at the Arena last week and as the ice hockey season is over, the time has come to take the ice out.”
It takes around 12 hours to take the ice out.
The process of removing the ice is like defrosting a freezer by switching into thaw mode. A Zamboni, which is a piece of machinery used to cut, build and resurface the ice, is then used to take the top layer of white ice out.
All the while hot water is being pumped through the ice pad which breaks the seal between the concrete and the ice itself.
The ice is then physically smashed up and pushed into an ice-pit where it is drained away.
The floor will then get a thorough cleaning and come August it will be time to get it back in place, which takes two full days, followed by a further two to three days to build it up to skating standard.
For ticket details for Disney On Ice 100 Years Of Magic, November 5 to 9, and Sheffield Steelers games visit keep checking www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.
STORY BY NUMBERS
* 180 square meters of ice covers the Arena floor
* 1 inch is the thickness of the ice
* 12 hours to remove it
* Five days to replace it.
* -11c is the ice temperature for ice hockey
* -7c for ice dancing shows
* 28 ice hockey games are played in an average season
* 11 Disney On Ice performances each November