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From the Olympics Toward Tomorrow

Shinano Mainichi
Shinano Mainichi




Ice Hockey Stadium
("Big Hat" and "Aqua Wing")

Stadium A ("Big Hat") Wakasato, Nagano City

Ice Hockey Stadium A, in Wakasato, Nagano City, was the first Olympic Event Venue to be completed in the City, and on Mar. 31, 1995 the Venue was handed over by the construction company to Nagano City.

A five-level structure, with four levels above and one below ground, it has an area of approximately 25,000 square meters. The spectator areas on floors one to three hold approximately 5,000 people. For the Olympics a rink will also be temporarily installed in the arena section (area of 3,900 square meters).

The rink in the Ice Hockey Stadium A "Big Hat" opened on Dec. 10, 1995. On the white shiny new rink adults, high school students and junior high school students held commemorative matches, creating the excitement of an Olympic mood.

The rink in the center of the stadium is a built-up type and measures 60 m from north to south and 30 m from east to west. An antifreeze agent that has been cooled to around -9 by ammonium is pumped through the fine pipes laid on the rink floor, and water is then sprayed repeatedly until a layer of ice 8 cm thick is obtained.

This is a facility that is the pride of those concerned, who say "computers have been installed to control the ice, and the equipment is the best in Japan."

Big Hat Ice Hockey Stadium A, given the name "Big Hat," as its shape resembles that of a big hat.

Big Hat rink opening.(November 10, 1995) Opening Game

Stadium B ("Aqua Wing") Higashiwada, Nagano City

A prayer for safety ceremony was held on Oct. 12, 1995, and construction started on Ice Hockey Stadium B for the '98 Nagano Winter Olympics. This Stadium is being constructed by Nagano City within a city-run athletics park in Higashiwada, Nagano City. Construction is planned for completion by the end of September, 1997. It was the last newly-constructed Olympic Event Venue to commence construction.

The stadium is being constructed in the former site of an outdoor public swimming pool that has been destroyed, and the floor surface area is approximately 13,500 square meters. After the Games, the facility will be used as a pool once more. First of all, 50 m and 25 m pools together with a diving pool will be constructed indoors for year-round use. On top of that, a 60 x 30 m Olympic ice rink will be laid down. Seating will be provided to hold 6,000 spectators. The ice rink and the temporary seating will be taken away after the Olympics.

The roof is designed to be retractable, to let in the sun's rays during the summer swimming season. The total cost of the facility is approximately 8.4 billion yen.

Related News

Belarus team holds first practice at the Big Hat (1998.2.2)
Art of ice-making key to many Olympic winter sports (1998.2.2)

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Copyright 1999 The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun