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Frontier Field Preparing For Outdoor Hockey Festival

The Frozen Frontier Hockey Festival gets underway in three weeks.
The Frozen Frontier Hockey Festival gets underway in three weeks. 

The first NHL Winter Classic was held in Buffalo in 2008, and what was only a pipe dream in Rochester is now coming true thanks in part to a man who is also living his dream building outdoor rinks.

"Myself and my business partner were both in the military together and he and I had a concept of wanting to be in business together doing something related to ice rinks. We saved as much money as we could, we started this business in 2006 and we've almost invented everything you see here," Benn Breton said.

They build 15 to 20 outdoor rinks every year, and about one to three NHL-sized rinks for events like the Frozen Frontier.

"The rink from start to finish, we have 800 tons of sand to level the surface, which is the sandbotx that the rink sits on. Then our equipment is about six to eight truckloads and then we travel with about 30 toolboxes with about everything that you can think of that could go wrong, may go wrong, backups to everything," Breton said.

Even though the festival is in December, it is still possible to have temperatures in the 60s. Believe it or not, that's not a problem. 

"We can have an ice rink almost anywhere. We have ice rinks in southern California and Florida, so it being in Rochester is not a problem for us," he said. "Keeping the ice frozen is completely dependent upon the piping. That is why there is 136,000 feet of it here. The glycol, the antifreeze will be traveling through those pipes at about 10 degrees. So everything outside of that pipe will freeze to it."

The biggest struggle in keeping the ice frozen is the sun. 

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