They do. Indoor ice activities such as hockey and ice skating are among the most energy-intensive forms of recreation, largely because of several factors including the energy needed to operate pumps, cooling systems to keep the ice cold, and the impact of the machines used to sweep the ice periodically and smooth it out (commonly known as Zambonis). There has recently been some awareness of the energy impact of ice rinks, and for economic reasons ice rink owners have been looking for ways to trim their energy budget, such as slightly increasing the temperature of their rinks–a 1 degree increase in temperature can save 6% in annual refrigeration costs. The ice rinks at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver have been designed to be as green as possible, with electric-powered Zambonis instead of the traditional propane or diesel driven grooming vehicles that would otherwise have been used.
Great question, Emilio. The answer is yes, ice rinks use a lot of energy. A typical community ice arena can use between 600,000 and 2,000,000 kWh of electricity per year. To produce that amount of energy, up to 1176 barrels of oil are needed.
Hope this helps!
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