Thanks to the Japanese, we're now closer than ever to having a Winter Classic in Phoenix someday. Say hello to eco-friendly, resin-based, iceless skating rinks:
The new iceless skating rinks will be formed from 6-ft by 3-ft plastic panels, each weighing 84 lbs. and measuring just under an inch thick. A special wax is applied to the surface of the panels once they're assembled. The end result is a surface that is nearly 90% as "slippery" as real ice and can be skated on using normal, unmodified ice skates. (H/T - Yahoo!)
There are already advertisements for this stuff in The Hockey News, and when the missus saw it, she said, "Maybe we can get a smaller version of that for Kyle." I believe the small version (12 feet by 6 feet) costs about $500.
$500 for skating in the summer? Money well spent.