How do they Pink the Rink? Inside the process to transform AT&T Center ice

14-hour painting process explained for upcoming Rampage Pink in the Rink game

SAN ANTONIO – Have you ever wondered how the San Antonio Rampage ice rink goes from white to pink for the annual Pink in the Rink game? 

Over a span of approximately 14 hours, the ice and operations crew at the AT&T Center works to transform their everyday game ice into a pink wonderland.

The first step is shaving the ice down by way of the Zamboni. They shave the ice down to an inch thick- about half the depth of regular playing ice.

Mixing the paint comes next. The paint is a resin mix that’s mixed with a pink (or red) dye. 

Only 8 ounces of paint is added to every 80 gallons of water to because “we don’t want it too dark to where the refs (and players) can’t see the lines,”  said Nathan Schroeder, lead ice technician.

The actual application of the paint takes a special boom mister with 14 nozzles spraying paint and a six-man crew.

The boom operator controls where the paint goes while the five other crew members manage the hose the paint is travels to the boom, preventing it from leaving snake marks on the ice.

Two separate coats of 80 gallons of pink paint is then sprayed onto the ice.

They add coats of regular water on top of the pink using the same boom mister to add depth to the ice. The ice rink at full depth holds 10,600 gallons of water.

White lines are then painted by hand so the refs can see when the puck goes into the goal.

Schroeder says this painting process takes about 14 hours from start to finish.

After the crew is done painting it will start the conversion process back to basketball for the upcoming Spurs game Thursday. This process takes nine hours.

The Spurs game crew will take up the court in pieces, uncover the thermal decking used to insulate the ice which is in several 4-foot by 8-foot sheets, and slowly uncover their pink ice to prepare for the game on Friday. This will take about a day and a half.

That’s a lot of back and forth! This is the eighth annual Pink in the Rink game celebrating breast cancer survivors and raising awareness for breast health. The game benefits Susan G. Komen.

The puck drops against the Texas Stars at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the AT&T Center.