On September 21st, in Shanghai, the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL) played the first NHL game ever in China. With Beijing hosting the 2022 winter Olympics, both the government and the NHL is hoping to build Chinese interest in hockey. Luckily, while the game went decidedly better for the Kings, winning 5-2 over the Canucks, the NHL and the management at the Mercedes-Benz Arena (MBA) were happy that the facility was able to host the game without any issues.
From the first practice days earlier up to and even during the game, the organizers and staff were concerned the game may be stopped due to a problem unique to hockey…dense fog shrouding the ice.
At initial practices at the MBA, the high humidity of Shanghai had combined with the cold and thus low dew point of the air near the ice, leading to fog so thick that players could not be seen beyond half of the length of the ice. After wrestling with the problem for a couple days, the general manager of the MBA, Jim Foss, reached out to Sam Michael and Joe Stern at AtmosAir, asking them to come in and take a look.
Overnight, the team at AtmosAir arranged for 25 industrial sized dehumidifiers, typically used when drying concrete, epoxy and paint in commercial buildings, to be set up throughout the arena. Over the next 30 hours leading up to game time, the dehumidifiers would extract hundreds of gallons of water from the arena air. Joe got the dehumidifiers blasting with minimal obstruction of fan and TV camera views. Sam worked closely with the engineering director at MBA to decrease the volume of humid air being brought into the building.
While long time expatriate hockey fans and new Chinese fans enjoyed the beer and a great game, AtmosAir and the NHL management had their eyes closely locked on humidity sensors and the surface of the ice, looking for any signs of airborne condensation. Only once the buzzer signaling the end of the 3rd period sounded were they able to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the beer themselves.
If you are interested in controlling the unwanted effects of outside air on your facility, please contact us.