Don’t worry if the Jan. 3 minor league hockey contest between the Stockton Thunder and San Francisco Bulls gets a tad dull (not that we’re saying it will) -- you can just take a gander at the artwork slathered all over the ice.
Following a Dec. 29 Thunder game in the team's Stockton, Calif., arena, the Thunder invited kids among the nearly 5,000 spectators to venture onto the ice, mingle with the players, and paint the ice. Yes, with actual paint.
Almost 900 folks took them up on the offer, filling the rink with a barrage of color and commotion. Now the Thunder—with the rink’s new artwork sealed in—will play a game on the fantastical design, what the team calls the first-ever hockey game played on fan artwork.
In a riff off the ever-popular Winter Classic, this ECHL affiliate of the New York Islanders calls their Friday contest the Painted Classic. And, yes, they have a hashtag to prove it.Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.