Comerica Park transformed into hockey rink

Crews putting finishing touches on baseball park ahead of Winter Festival

By Jamie Edmonds - Reporter
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DETROIT - It's been two years in the making, but the ice is finally down at Comerica Park and they're ready to get going on the Hockeytown Winter Festival.

Monday, crews were putting the finishing touches on transforming the baseball park into a hockey rink.

"It started about a week and a half ago; they are laying ice right now," said Craig Turnbull, senior VP of marketing for Olympia Entertainment. "In fact, they put hot water down, apparently it freezes better."

Turnbull said the first layer of ice is down, they expect many more will be laid before anyone will skate on it. For now, the weather is cooperating with rink crews. On deck: they still have to paint the ice, put up the glass and prepare the area surrounding the ice surface for the Coke Zero Fan zone.

"The fan zone will have events for kids of all ages," Turnbull said. "There will be a giant snow slide, autograph sessions with our alumni and a whole host of activities."

Once all of the preparations are complete, it will be time to drop the puck.

"For two weeks we will have high school games, youth games, women's games, and college games," Turnbull said.

The Hockeytown Winter Festival starts on Monday, Dec. 16.

Open public skates begin two days later. The Red Wings are hosting an open practice on the 18th.

December 27th kicks off the festival's main events culminating in two alumni games on New Year's Eve.

For hockey fans, the festival will be two weeks to celebrate the game as it was meant to be played.

"It's a great time to get out onto the ice and enjoy the opportunity to be outdoors where the game got started," Turnbull said.

The Red Wings say they've had a ton of interest for all of the events including the open skates; they suspect this festival will be a home run.

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