How it works: Zambonis at Bloomington Ice Garden

Ice skating rinks need a good wash and a shave now and then. At Bloomington Ice Garden (BIG), 3600 West 98th Street, four Zamboni ice resurfacers stand ready for use. All machines are electric and run on batteries. With three rinks and thousands of users, regular ice maintenance is necessary to keep things going on smooth ice.

On a busy weekend, the Zambonis operate hourly. For the observer, it’s hard not to be spellbound by the hypnotic, ring-by-ring progression of the ice machine. A reflective ribbon of perfect ice gleams behind the Zamboni.

How ice is resurfaced with a Zamboni:

  1. The ice-shaving blade goes down and closely shaves the ice as horizontal and vertical screws (augers) spin and collect the shavings in the snow tank.
  2. A layer of wash water is put down from the wash water discharge line to rinse the ice. The dirty water is squeegeed and picked up by suction.
  3. A second layer of water is put down by the ice-making water discharge line and is smoothed by an over-sized towel. The wet resurfacing freezes into clean ice.

To see how a Zamboni works at BIG, go to For other information, visit or call 952-563-8841.