Had a chance today to talk with someone in the know regarding the progress of the Sullivan Arena renovations. Thought I'd take a moment to share.
The old ice plant is currently being disassembled and will be gone shortly. The new ice plant will go in when that space is ready. The piping for the new CO2 system and the floor is currently being put in place. I had some of it described to me and found it interesting but I wouldn't want to try to repeat those descriptions at the risk of saying something that was nonsense.
The ice will be put in well in advance of the Kendall tourney; there are a couple of non-hockey events in the weeks preceding the Kendall and they plan to have the ice in before those. The new CO2 system includes a "fast freeze" option for the Zamboni guys to use between periods of games. That'll be nice because it seems to me with a 20 minute break and all the on-ice between period entertainment that the resurfacing folks there at Sully have to modify the way the ice is cut and the amount of water that's put down.
A faster freeze should help them make really nice sheets between the periods. It's not easy to make a great sheet when you've had 200+lbs guys zipping around at full speed for 30 minutes. That cuts it up deep and generally you need to lay down more water which means more set up time.
The Sully had a great reputation for it's ice quality for a long long time before the problems popped up a few years ago and we had that piece of lint working it's way through the pipes in the old system. I'm sure these changes will keep that reputation in place.
The seats are Gray and Wine. Those colors should definitely soften the visual for anyone in the joint.
I heard rumors about changes in concessions as well. I'll confirm that there is a new menu for the main stands but I cannot confirm what those changes will be as I haven't and will not be able to see the new menu. Since SMG is also my employer, I'll let them roll that out as they choose. There'll be all new equipment behind the concession stands and it sounds like if you had a favorite existing item that it will most likely still be available.
They're putting in POS systems at the concession stands which should make it easier for people to pay and hopefully keep the lines moving faster. That'll be important when we start filling the place up this year, right? I asked if there was some special new vendor going to be selling concessions and there is not. So if you were hoping Club Paris or Sullivan's Steak House was going to be there selling Filet-on-a-Stick then prepare to be disappointed.
Lastly, I want to add that as far as Sullivan's go ... George > Dan by a factor of 100. If you've got any questions that I failed to cover here let me know in comments and I'll find out the answer.