Walleye preparing Fifth Third Field for Winterfest
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The grass is gone and the dirt is being covered down at Fifth Third Field as we’re now just eight days away from the official kickoff of Winterfest.
“Our rink company arrived on Monday of this week,” said Tyler Clark, Promotions Manager for the Toledo Walleye. “They’re laying the dasher boards behind us today, and they’re hoping to have the rink operational by early next week.”
While high temps may reach the 50s and 60s over the next couple of weeks, Clark says they will still be able to keep the ice frozen and playable. In fact, he says it’s usually the very cold temps that are more concerning.
“When you have those bitterly cold temperatures, the ice becomes brittle and you just have to make sure you’re maintaining it and that it’s not cracking and whatnot,” he said.
And since Winterfest is taking place in a ballpark, all the concessions you know and love will be open, including the Swamp Shop. For those who aren’t a big fan of the cold, there will be places to stay comfortable.
“We have some indoor heating areas, inside the Swamp Shop, and upstairs on the club level,” Clark said. “So if you have any concerns about the temperatures, don’t worry because we’ll have you covered here.”
After having to postpone the event last year, Clark says they’re really looking forward to seeing the crowds return.
“We hope you support our local bars and restaurants and businesses because this really is not just a Mud Hens and Walleye event, it’s a Toledo event,” he said.
Winterfest runs from December 16 -January 2, and the celebrations will include a youth hockey tournament between teams from around the region, a game between former Toledo and Detroit Red Wings players on December 30 at 6:30 p.m., and two Walleye games. The first will be on December 26 at 6 p.m. against the Kalamazoo Wings, then the Walleye will take on the Indy Fuel on December 31 at 6 p.m., the first New Year’s Eve game in Walleye history.
Also, the Adrian College women’s and men’s hockey teams will also play games on January 2 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively. It will be the first time in school history that the Adrian College women’s hockey team has played an outdoor game.
Open skate days will be available to the public on December 24, 27, and January 1. Tickets are $15 per person (which includes skate rental), but only $10 if you bring your own skates. However, if you want to make sure that you get the chance to hit the ice, you’ll want to reserve a time slot online.
To make a reservation for open skate or to buy tickets to any of the hockey games, CLICK HERE
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