On Saturday, more than 100,000 frozen fans will watch Michigan play Michigan State at the Big House. Not in football, which happens every other year. But in hockey, thus setting the record for the biggest crowd ever to watch a hockey game – anywhere.
To build a hockey rink on a football field, a six-man crew works for three weeks. First, they install the floor out of big plastic tiles called Terratrak, which were originally designed to create portable runways for fighter jets in the desert. If they can handle F-15s, they can handle Bauer Supremes. Then they put up the boards, the glass, and start flooding the rink with some 40,000 gallons of water.
Don’t worry – these guys have built rinks in San Diego and Mexico City. For them, Michigan’s a skate in the park.
The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network, and will receive worldwide attention. Lawrence Kasdan, the Michigan alum who wrote and directed the classic movie “The Big Chill,” will drop the opening puck. And every time Michigan scores, fireworks will fly.
But that’s not the most impressive part.