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