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Crusaders' Damp Squib At SkyDome Arena

Coventry Crusaders’ prestige debut game in the SkyDome Arena was halted last night because of condensation on the court.

The game against Rice University, visiting from Houston, Texas, had to be stopped at half time because the playing surface was dangerous.

Around 1,000 fans, including 300 VIPs and 100 sponsor’s guests had to be turned away when the match referee ruled it was too risky to continue.

The start of the game had been delayed while engineers tried to adjust the temperature of the court, which was laid over the ice rink.

Following a hot day, the heat in the building had caused condensation to form on the court.

Several players tumbled and slipped on the wet surface and the game was held up several times while the court was dried.

During half time adjustments were made to try and cool the arena down. But the problems continued and the game was called off.

It is the second serious problems to have hit the arena since it opened last month. An ice-skating session had to be cancelled when the ice started melting.

During the arena’s construction numerous delays hit the project, including a strike by builders, and it was finished nine months late.

The Crusaders were also hit by water problems last year when a game at Coventry Sports Centre was abandoned because the roof was leaking.

Coventry Crusaders boss Dip Donaldson said all the fans would be given free entry to the next game at the SkyDome.

He said:

“It’s quite embarrassing. We had three players who had flown over here for a trial for the game.

“Two came from the United States and we had a Canadian player fly in from Switzerland.

“But I’m trying to look at the positives. They were really impressed with the arena and the crowd had a good time.

“In America this sort of thing has happened before. A lot of the major teams play on ice and they have had condensation problems in the past.

“I don’t know exactly what went wrong because I’m not a technician, but I hope they get it sorted.

“We’ll have to train on it a few times before next season to make sure it doesn’t happen in a league match.”

SkyDome general manger Simon Burnett said the hot day followed in by a quick downpour had led to high humidity outside the court, and the spectator's body heat caused the condensation to form.

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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / SkyDome Coventry / 16 May 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM