Stadium Series: Changing Soldier Field to an ice hockey rink



CHICAGO - Anticipation continues to build for the big Stadium Series matchup Saturday night at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Channel 11 News has a team of reporters in the Windy City ahead of the Penguins and Blackhawks big game.

Remember, WPXI is the only place to watch the game. Pregame 11 On The Ice coverage starts at 7 p.m. and the puck drops at 8.

In addition, we'll have a special online-only pregame special Friday at 6:30 p.m. on

On Friday, Courtney Brennan got a behind-the-scenes look at the football field’s makeover.

Turning Soldier Field into an NHL ice rink was no easy task. Grounds crews used about 10,000 gallons of water to create the base.

Team officials said this kind of outdoor rink needs at least 2 inches of ice to handle the extreme, unpredictable elements that come with a game like this.

Nearly 250 ice pans underneath the surface will help keep it cool and a refrigeration truck is also on hand, if needed.

Regardless of the predicted cold wind chill, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is excited to the game. (Click here to see photos of the Steelers-inspired mask he will wear

"I looked at the weather quickly, and it seems to be pretty cold, so maybe a little different. It’s always pretty entertaining and fun for us to play in these games,” Fleury said.

Courtney, Alby Oxenreiter, Gordon Loesch and Scott Harbaugh are in Chicago for the weekend. They’ll have live reports throughout Channel 11’s 90-minute newscast beginning tonight at 5 p.m.