EVANSVILLE, INDIANA — The chill of ice is once again permeating the air in the arena at Ford Center as crews are getting the slick ice rink put in place, getting ready for another season of hockey in the River City.
“When you come into the building yesterday and all of a sudden the compressors are on, it gets pretty cold really quick,” Thunderbolts Head Coach and General Manager Jeff Pyle said. “So once you feel that, you know you’re getting closer and closer.”
“They’re finishing freezing up our yarn down to create the lines,” Jeff Remelius, the owner of Mid America Rink Services, said. “Once that’s frozen, we’ll continue with the painting of the lines.”
“Once I get on the ice, it’s a big relief because you’re focused on what you really have to do now,” Pyle said.
Ford Center has hosted hockey here for the past five years, but this upcoming season is different.
“The difference here is you’ve got to rebuild and set everything in place,” Pyle said.
The Evansville Thunderbolts is the new hockey team in town, taking the place of Ford Center’s former tenants, the Evansville IceMen.
“When we started, it seemed like it was ages ago, and all of a sudden, it just seems like it was a blur,” Pyle said.
He said he is looking forward to the Thunderbolts’ inaugural season and to bringing hockey back to Evansville.
“I loved it when I was here,” he said. “It’s a beautiful building. It’s a great city, great fanbase. Everybody has been amazing to me.”