Great Falls Ice Plex Update: Leaks discovered at Ice Plex; delays opening

GAME SCHEDULE CHANGE: Americans home games on Sept. 24-25 moved to Gillette, WY

GREAT FALLS, Mont., September 16, 2021 — Due to the leaks in the cooling system pipes that help make the ice for the Great Falls Ice Plex (see original story), the Great Falls Americans have had to revise their schedule and move their first home game. The Americans were originally scheduled to make their 2021-22 home debut at the Great Falls Ice Plex on Friday and Saturday, October 24th and 25th against the Gillette (WY) Wild. Those plans have now changed as they will play their fourth and fifth consecutive games on the road (two games at Yellowstone Quake and one game in Bozeman) in Gillette, Wyoming on the weekend of September 24th and 25th starting at 7:30PM (MST) each night.

As for the home opener, Great Falls is still hopeful that they will make their home debut on Thursday, September 30th when the Helena Bighorns come to town for a 7:30PM (MST) start. Please check back on the Great Falls Americans website for any changes.

NOTE: The Great Falls Americans and Gillette (WY) Wild haven’t indicated when the Gillette (WY) Wild will make the trip to Great Falls for the rescheduled game. The teams might play their six meetings (3 weekends) in Wyoming. Gillette is scheduled to host the Great Falls Americans on two weekends this season including November 19th and 20th and December 10th and 11th. Great Falls may be hosting one of those weekends.

Here is the rest of the September 2021 schedule for the Americans (as of Sept. 16, 2021):

Sat. Sept. 18 

@ Bozeman Ice Dogs 


Haynes Pavilion, Bozeman, MT 

Fri. Sept. 24

@ Gillette Wild


Spirit Hall Ice Arena, Gillette, WY

Sat. Sept. 25

@ Gillette Wild


Spirit Hall Ice Arena, Gillette, WY

Thurs. Sept. 30 

vs. Helena Bighorns 


Great Falls Ice Plex 


By Great Falls Community Ice Foundation (GFCIF)

GREAT FALLS, Mont., September 14, 2021 — An update from the Great Falls Community Ice Foundation (GFCIF) was provided today on the Great Falls Ice Plex Facebook Page:

We have a trailer-vac removing sand from the rink, but by itself it will likely take until the end of next week to finish the job. If we can get some manual labor up there to help clear out sand by hand, we think we can be done by this weekend (September 18-19).
We need equipment: please let Chris know ASAP ( or (406) 505-0594) if you have a wheelbarrow and/or blunt edged shovel(s) we can borrow! Or bring your own when you come to volunteer!
WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! Teenagers and adults only, please (youth volunteers must be mature enough to focus on the task at hand and be attentive to instructions). Please use this link to sign up for a spot:
Ice Plex Sand Removal

GREAT FALLS, Mont., September 8, 2021 —The Great Falls Community Ice Foundation posted the following message on their Facebook page on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 about the leaks at the Great Falls Ice Plex.

NOTE: No word on how this will impact the Great Falls Americans home opening weekend scheduled for September 24-25th against the Gillette (WY) Wild.

Last week, we discovered a significant number of leaks in the pipes that are part of our cooling system. These pipes run a coolant underneath the ice to hold the necessary temperature for making and sustaining ice throughout the season.

The health of these pipes is essential to the operation of our rink. Due to the leaks, we’ve had to halt ice making and are removing several inches of sand to expose the pipes and make repairs.

We had planned to have ice ready and begin our season this week, but the leaks will delay our opening day.

We are not sure precisely how long this repair process will take but, based on current estimates, we anticipate opening for the season in October.

Our facility was constructed more than 10 years ago with a sand floor, and it’s long been a goal of the foundation to install a concrete floor that will be more stable, allow us to hold more events in the space, and also potentially expand our operational months beyond the normal September-March ice season.

The foundation launched its capital campaign for the master plan improvements in January and the concrete floor was included in that long-range plan.

Due to the leaks in the existing pipes, fundraising the estimated $700,000 to $1 million to install a concrete floor is now our top priority.

The Great Falls Community Ice Foundation thanks our user groups and the community for their patience with these repairs and their continued support of local ice sports.

If you’d like to donate toward the concrete floor installation, visit or contact

–Post Courtesy of the Great Falls Community Ice Foundation Great Falls Ice Plex Facebook (Sept. 8, 2021)


Additional Media Coverage: September 8, 2021: ABC/FOX MONTANA (KFBB):  Opening day for Great Falls Ice Plex delayed after leaks found in cooling system

Additional Media Coverage: September 9, 2021: MTN Sports (KRTV): Leaks delay start of the season at Great Falls Ice Plex

Additional Media Coverage: September 9, 2021: Great Falls Tribune: Regional Briefs: Ice-making issues at Ice Plex may impact Americans schedule

Additional Media Coverage: September 14, 2021: ABC/FOX MONTANA (KFBB): GF Ice Plex forced to make major repairs after noticing multiple leaks