Fan Voting Continues as Griff's IceHouse Advances to Semifinals of Lighting Contest
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Griff's IceHouse at Belknap Park has advanced to the semifinal round of the "Light Like the Pros" promotion, which will award a free Ephesus LED sports lighting system valued at over $50,000 to one community rink in an American Hockey League market, the AHL and Eaton announced.
Griff's IceHouse is one of 10 skating rinks in North America that have been voted as semifinalists out of 33 that began as quarterfinalists.
Semifinal voting is underway and will last until March 2. Fans are encouraged to show their support and vote for Griff's IceHouse. Votes may be submitted once per day, per email address. On March 5, four rinks will advance to the finals for two additional weeks of voting.
Since the start of this season, ice skating rink owners, coaches and community members across North America have nominated their rinks by sharing why their rink is deserving of a state-of-the-art LED lighting solution and the importance of the rink to their community. A panel of judges from Ephesus and the AHL selected the 33 quarterfinalists, before a public vote helped determine the top 10.
Located near downtown Grand Rapids in a park adjacent to an affordable family housing development, Griff's IceHouse at Belknap Park opened its doors in 1987. Over the last 30 years, the number and variety of groups served by the city-owned facility have grown exponentially, but Griff's IceHouse maintains its founding mission to provide hockey and ice skating opportunities for residents in the city's urban core.
The facility's primary user is the Griffins Youth Foundation, which supports 350 local boys and girls, including many who are underprivileged, at-risk, underserved or have other special needs, by giving them the opportunity to play hockey at no cost. The foundation, which includes a division for girls as well as a sled hockey program, promotes academic excellence, community involvement and healthy lifestyles among the West Michigan youth, enhancing their lives through hockey and ice-related sports.
The foundation also co-sponsors the nationally renowned Grand Rapids Sled Wings junior sled hockey team, which provides opportunities for children and teens who have physical disabilities. Several other non-profit organizations call Griff's IceHouse home, including Special Olympics and the West Michigan Special Hockey Association, an amateur-level ice hockey program for children and young adults with Down syndrome, autism and other developmental disabilities.
The practice home of the two-time Calder Cup champion Griffins, Griff's IceHouse offers affordable recreation with open skating and skate rental costs that are the lowest in the area.
After the refrigeration system, lighting is typically an ice rink's largest electricity consumer as a typical ice rink uses its lights for more than 6,500 hours annually. Metal-halide lighting systems, which are currently installed at most skating rinks, generate heat that must then be removed from the building by the ice refrigeration system. In contrast, energy-efficient LED lights use less energy, generate less heat and help reduce the load on the rink's ice plant refrigeration system. An ice rink that makes the switch to LED can typically expect a 70 percent reduction in energy use, as well as a near-elimination of maintenance costs.
Eaton's Ephesus light-emitting diode sports lighting product line provides optimal lighting that illuminates more uniformly on the playing surface and offers an improved stage for players and fans. The system is easy to install, requires little to no maintenance for years and offers the lowest total operating costs compared to other traditional sports lighting systems.
An Ephesus LED sports lighting upgrade would significantly decrease both the operational and maintenance costs of Griff's IceHouse. The energy savings from a new LED lighting system could then be used to fund other improvements to the facility, helping maintain its status as a welcoming place for a variety of user groups from across the city of Grand Rapids.
Van Andel Arena implemented an Ephesus lighting system prior to the 2016-17 season. Hundreds of sports facilities of all sizes have made the switch to Eaton's LED sports lighting system. Some of the most prominent include University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins), PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates), Bridgestone Arena (Nashville Predators) and Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
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