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Bradley Hilltopics

Spring 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 2
Web Exclusives
Ice floor at Robertson | 1981 Bradley vs. Tulsa video | They played in Peoria | Read and share your Field House memories | The last Field House graduation | Slovenian students; Fulbright Scholars | The $100 laptop project | Overcoming an eating disorder | Students hear the naked truth | The NIU shooting tragedy hits home


Ice floor at Robertson?

Believe it or not, Robertson Memorial Field House did, in fact, host Holiday on Ice in the spring of 1951.

The Field House didn’t have abilities to convert between a basketball floor and an ice rink like many stadiums, but the ice show traveled with a portable ice floor.

According to an article in Hilltopics, the Field House crew dismantled the raised floor after the basketball season. Then about 10 miles of iron piping, resting about 1 1/2 inches apart, covered the floor. The pipes were raised about two inches off the floor, and the space was filled with 75 cubic yards of sawdust and covered with 20 tons of sand. Compressors then cooled calcium chloride brine to 10 degrees and pumped it through the pipes until the sand was cooled. Water was sprinkled over the sand hundreds of times until it froze to a thickness of 1 1/2 to 2 inches.

It was the largest portable ice floor in the world. The 110-foot-by-65-foot surface is the same size as many rinks in the National Hockey League.

Go to the video >