In any new building, nothing goes completely perfect in its first year. The same is true with Rogers Place.
In the next couple of weeks a series of nine exhaust fans on the roof are going to have to be replaced.
There’s nine of them up there, and it’ll mean bringing in cranes to do the heavy lifting to replace them said Tim Shipton, with the Oilers Entertainment Group.
“We found that since opening the building and since commissioning the mechanical system at Rogers Place we’ve seen some component failures,” Tim Shipton with the Oilers Entertainment Group confirmed to 630 CHED News. “Not in all nine exhaust fans but there have been enough failures that the project team determined that it was the right course of action to replace these roof exhaust fans.”
He said the problem is the fans they’ve got don’t clear smoke as well they could. The problems were found in testing, not during any events where pyrotechnics would be set off.
But it does beg the question about the ice at Rogers Place. In February, head coach Todd McLellan chose his words very carefully when asked about what the Oilers are skating on.
“I still hear players and in fact I catch myself a little bit at times mumbling or grumbling about it,” he said. “It’s got a ways to go but our building is no different than a lot in the National Hockey League this year. There’s talk all over the place about ice quality.”
“We’re working hard to get ours in to tip top shape.”
The Oilers’ banners were recently moved to a new location in the rafters to change the air flow.
Shipton said there’s not a direct “connect-the-dots” correlation between moving the banners and these exhaust fans and the ice. He insists they have nothing to do with the ice surface.
“There’s multiple factors that have gone into ice making this year, and certainly when you bring a new building and a new sheet of ice into play that you continue to test it so we continue to do that.”
“Our operations group, led by our ice making team continue to develop different processes and systems to try to make the best ice. Our goal as it should be is to have the best ice in the NHL and we continue to do that work to get there.”
City spokesman Charity Dyke said the tentative plan for the work is to begin in or around March 21.
“We do expect some lane closures in and around that window of time,” Shipton said. “We’ll be releasing information very soon on the specific time and lane closures as we do the necessary work to replace the exhaust fans.”
Dyke said any lane closures will be on a rotating basis for the streets and avenues around Rogers Place.
– With files from Reid Wilkins