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Crews prepare for NHL’s Winter Classic inside Notre Dame Stadium

The Home of the Fighting Irish is about to go through a chilly transition.

On New Years Day, the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins will play in the NHL’s Winter Classic inside Notre Dame Stadium.

WSBT 22’s Adam Derengowski was on campus Monday as crews began preparations.

A sheet of ice is about to go inside the house that Rockne built.

Crews from the National Hockey league were inside Monday laying down the framework for a rink that will house the 2019 Winter Classic.

The Dan Devine statue had a front row seat to the set-up of the NHL’s one of a kind 300-ton mobile refrigeration unit that is in charge of making sure the ice is fit for the Winter Classic.

3,000 gallons of coolant will be pumped from that truck to the rink to maintain a certain temperature.

Workers will then spray 20,000 gallons of water to get the ice to a thickness of two inches just right for some outdoor hockey.

That water will be added as slowly as possible while workers pass the spray wand over the surface hundreds of times.

Workers will then whiten the ice using 350 gallons of water soluble paint before the lines and logos are painted.

Finally, more ice will be added on top.

Of course there will be some challenges along the way. The biggest being the weather.

“It’s a little bit of work, lots of planning obviously,” said Mike Craig, NHL Senior Manager of Hockey Operations. “There are a lot of people who put in a lot of hours to prepare for this and then execute it as well. You know we are building a rink from scratch in the span of a few days here. So we can plan as much as we can, but it’s going to be about whatever weather comes our way and we’ll have to adjust to it and go from there. But yeah, it’s definitely weather. “

Craig said the ideal game day temperature would be 30-degrees with some cloud cover.

The process to make the ice is set to begin in about three days.

After the rink is constructed, the ice will be monitored to ensure the temperature is where it needs to be.

We’ll of course have more on the setup for the Winter Classic including why Notre Dame was an ideal place for this event later in sports.

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