Engo presents the world's first-ever hydraulic system for ice rink reduction. This affordable alternative to a full renovation comes just in time for ice arena operators. In 2019, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that ice rinks for the three upcoming World Championships must be adapted to the size used by the NHL, the sport's North American professional league. This decision has far-reaching consequences for arena operators, who fear extensive renovation projects, heavy investments, and complex infrastructure.
Engo Ice Arena Equipment now offers an innovative and cost-effective alternative: The Quick Adapt System.
There is no single, correct size stipulated for an ice hockey field. It depends on where it is. In Europe, the ice surface measures 60x30 meters; in the US, the National Hockey League's (NHL) rinks are 4 meters smaller (60x26 meters).
It remains to be seen whether adjustments will also be necessary for the national leagues, such as the German Ice Hockey League (DEL).
However, it is feared that it too will need to be adapted during a transitional phase of ten to fifteen years.
When Markus Profanter found out about these new requirements, he was immediately aware of the enormity of their implications. The managing director of the South Tyrolean ice stadium supplier engo is well-aware of the realities of running publicly-operated ice arenas.
"Since ice arenas rely upon public funds, they are always faced with the challenge of raising funds for investments and renovations," says Profanter.
That's why the engo development team immediately started to think of possible alternatives so that they could offer ice arena operators a more cost-effective solution. It's not just hockey that is played in most ice arenas - other ice sports are also using the facilities, e.g. short track speed skating and figure skating, etc., which in turn require the rink size, 60x30m.
After a relatively short development period, the time had come. In spring 2020, engo presented its innovative Quick Adapt System.
It is the world's first hydraulic system for ice rink reduction and engo's third international patent.
Thanks to this sophisticated system, arena operators can now choose between the two ice rink sizes within their existing stadium, without having to build a new one. A total of sixteen hydraulically-operated cylinders push the ice hockey rink boards inwards by 2m on each side. Then the boards are reaffixed. This process takes just under three hours in total.
The system celebrated its premiere in Switzerland. The new center in the Swiss town of Cham is a center of excellence for elite athletics and research. The private investor H. P. Strebel created a 30,000 m² highly-specialized and modern infrastructure for athletic training for all types of sport, as well as interdisciplinary research and the latest sports performance areas.
Of course, an ice arena had to be included too. So that it could offer international hockey stars the perfect training conditions, the unique center took the plunge with the Quick Adapt System from South Tyrol.
For investor H. P. Strebel, it was an easy decision to make: "We wanted to create an ice rink that's geared towards the future and enables different training situations. A smaller rink means a faster and more direct game, and for that you need training. This gives up-and-coming talent the best preparation for playing in top competitions and the highest leagues later in their careers."