Ever wonder how the ice rink at Empire State Plaza has stayed frosty even during the mild winter weather? Find out how!
While the weather this winter hasn’t been very “wintery,” the Empire State Plaza’s ice rink has maintained its pristine conditions through the nearly 50-degree weather, only having to close for four hours in the middle of December.
How do they do it exactly? Well, the New York State Office of General Services utilizes a machine-room below the rink that pumps up food-grade glycol to keep the ice between 18 and 25 degrees. According to the Times Union, about 34,248 gallons of water are used and chilled by 16-degree glycol that is then pumped through tubes under the ice.
OGS also uses a laser level to measure ice thickness (the goal is about three inches!) to make sure skaters don’t go flying into the boards or get stuck in the middle of the rink. The Office has also been tracking weather data and trends to ensure pristine ice no matter the temperature.
So, there you have it… Whether it’s warm and sunny, below freezing or any other unusual weather combination in Albany this winter, know that the ice conditions at the Empire State Plaza rink are ready for you! The ice rink is open daily until Tuesday, March 8th.