Ottawa 2017

What does it take to build a 375m ice track on the historic Ottawa Locks of Parks Canada’s Rideau Canal?

What does it take to build a 375m ice track on the historic Ottawa Locks of Parks Canada’s Rideau Canal?

The fastest sport on skates is taking over the capital in less than a week. Yes…less…than…ONE…week…

Red Bull Crashed Ice will make its Ottawa debut on March 3rd and 4th.

Imagine world’s best athletes competing for the ultimate title during the final showdown on the iconic locks of the Rideau Canal, overlooking Parliament Hill and the famous Chateau Laurier. How crazy is that!?

As you can imagine, the construction of the track is well underway. But what does it take to build a 375m ice track on the historic Ottawa Locks of Parks Canada’s Rideau Canal?


  • Length: 375m
  • Width: 4m
  • Vertical drop: 35m
  • Ice surface: Artificial, 1500 m2
  • Ice Thickness: 12cm

Photo Credit: Patrick Haag


  • 4 high performance refrigeration units called “chillers”
  • 36,000 litres of salt-water brine (coolant) will be piped through the refrigeration system and then through the refrigerated rubber mats that stretch the length of the 460m track
  • A team of 20 ice makers will spray water in a fine mist onto the refrigerated mats 24 hours a day for 6 days to create the competition ice surface
  • A hot water pressure washing system will be used to flush the track in the same manner as a Zamboni would for a hockey rink ice surface
  • An organic crystallizing agent will create ice that’s five times denser than that of an NHL rink
  • The cooling system is able to produce ice even in warmer temperatures reaching up to 20 degrees
  • Immediately following the competition, two 400KW electric boilers are used to heat the brine and circulate it through the mats to melt the ice

Photo Credit: Patrick Haag


  • Over 80% of the track will be built on top of scaffolding structures
  • The track features over 600,000lbs of scaffolding + 123,500lbs of I-beams
  • Over 500 Plexiglas® sheets
  • 800 specially designed steel supports legs to keep the sideboards upright
  • 100 4 x 4s mounted to custom steel legs help keep the dasher boards in place and provide stability in high impact zones
  • 1400 Plywood sheets cover the track flooring
  • 4 Forklift trucks are in operation over 8 hours per day for 4 weeks
  • Over 10,000 hours of labour are required just for the construction of the track structures and the ice

Photo Credit: Patrick Haag


  • Three giant screens using LED technology are installed at various points along the course
  • The entire site will receive sound coverage by a cutting-edge sound system


  • 16 HD cameras including 2 cable-cam systems
  • Several POV cameras and microphones placed into the track
  • Two HD production trailers units on the cutting edge of technology
  • A wireless microwave retransmission system
  • A fibre optic network to broadcast on site live video screens
  • Another 90 technicians working specifically on the TV production
  • Over 360 Moving head projectors such as Vari*Lite 3500 & Chauvet Legend, 300 LED fixtures, 500 stage projectors that illuminate the architectural environment & the crowd along the track
  • Eight hundred 500W quartz fixtures hung on the sideboards for the track lighting

Photo Credit: Patrick Haag


Over 150 people from all around the world (Canada, New Zealand, USA, Austria, Germany and more) will work around the clock to set up the track and audiovisual component for the event. In no particular order, the crew required for the construction of a Red Bull Crashed Ice includes:

  • Carpenters
  • Refrigeration technicians
  • Warehouse staff
  • Heavy equipment operators
  • Tractor-trailer drivers
  • Electricians
  • Electrical mechanics
  • Crane operators
  • Fork lift operators
  • Scaffold erectors
  • Traffic controllers
  • Security officers
  • Civil engineers
  • Audio technicians
  • Lighting technicians
  • Network specialists
  • Technician Riggers
  • Welders
  • Logistical specialists
  • Technicians riggers
  • Camera operators
  • Audio engineer
  • Video technicians
  • TV Technicians stewards

For more photos, click here!

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