Thanks to Mlive for this:
LIVONIA, MI – The lights can be seen from a block away.
A Michigan dad built an amazing homemade ice rink in his Livonia backyard for his two sons and the neighborhood kids come with their skates and sticks.
Lance Antrobius and his wife, Samantha, say they actually envisioned their kids playing hockey on a homemade backyard rink like this when they were looking to purchase a house nearly a decade ago.
“Once we saw this house, it pretty much was the reason we bought it,” Antrobius told MLive as we skated on the smooth ice recently. “The house had a good size yard with no trees and a large, flat area.”
The rink is located near Plymouth Road and Merriman Road in Livonia.
Antrobius has gradually upgraded the rink over the years, which is 80 feet long and 40 feet wide.
It has flood lights, regulation hockey goals, boards, a scoreboard, warming tent and a locker room.
Antrobius says his son, Dylan, 9, and his friends practice on the rink nearly every night. Many are on area travel hockey teams.
“We have pictures of Dylan before he could even stand just scooting along on the ice. He’s pretty much grown up on it. My stepson, Miguel, who is 20, actually learned how to skate on this rink.”
Antrobius says he built the ice rink using a pool liner for an inground pool and even made the boards himself.
“I made the boards out of plywood and two-by-fours and painted them white. There’s chicken wire above the boards to help prevent pucks from flying into the neighbors’ yards. For the ice, I put up some boards, wrapped pool liner over them and I just flood the area with water and wait as Mother Nature lets it freeze.”
To maintain the ice, Antrobius clears the snow from the rink with a large snow shovel ice scraper. He also uses his garden hose.
“I run the hose from my basement laundry room to get some hot water out here. I either use the hose or I have a little Zamboni thing with a rag I drag behind to get the ice really smooth. That’s how I get good ice.”
Antrobius says his winter water bill is much higher than normal, but it’s worth every penny as much as his kids and their friends use the rink.
“My water bill feels it. This is 4 to 6 inches of water/ice over 3,200 square feet. It probably takes me close to 18 to 20 hours to flood it at the beginning of the season. I have to run the hose all day and into the night.”
Antrobius starts putting the rink up each year around October. Weather pending, skating begins around New Year’s. Here’s our video with Antrobius as we skated on the homemade rink.
Mlive video of rink