International Ice Facilities Expert Circle met for first time

The 26th IAKS Congress and FSB trade fair was the framework for the inaugural meeting of the Ice Facilities Expert Circle, hosted by HDR architect and former professional hockey player Mark Hentze. IAKS Vice President Conrad Boychuk had invited international experts who design, supply, install and operate ice facilities either permanent or temporary. The participants identified differences between North American and European approaches.

The development of ice facilities in North American and especially Canada are a vital part of the sports and recreation experience. As part of strategy for programming and operational efficiency, there is a tendency to now building double pads as a minimum with triple and quadruple pads gaining in popularity. In Europe however there is very little development of community arenas driven by programs. Instead, there is typically some level of spectator seating so the facilities tend to offer both sports programs and ticketed sports events. There is a fundamental difference between European and North American approaches with the Europeans using a direct refrigeration system while North Americans use an indirect one.

The meeting concluded with a general sense that there was value in moving forward with an IAKS Ice Facilities Expert Circle. However the varied interests expressed in the meeting, while anticipated, need to be organized into focus areas and these should be enhanced with additional expertise to better round out future discussions. The Ice Facilities Expert Circle schedules its next meeting linked to the 2020 IAKS Study Trip to Vancouver, Canada.

Great Plains Recreation Center_sb 5 2019_ice hockey players_Shai Gil 08

photo: Shai Gil

2019 Expert Circle Ice Rinks_Inaugural meeting

(f.l.t.r.) Ted Watson, Uwe Deyle, Andrew Tankard, Peter Hirvell, Conrad Boychuk, Julia Mitterdorfer, Pius Frey, Markus Profanter, Jim Kalvelage, Mark Hentze, Viktors Jaunkalns, Andrew McRae, Klaus Meinel, Andrew Filarski