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Winter(fest) is coming: Fifth Third Field transforming from baseball to hockey

Crews are hard at work to prepare the home of the Mud Hens for an outdoor hockey rink for the Toledo Walleye Winterfest.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Over at Fifth Third Field, the heavy machinery has taken over the baseball field and the grounds team is hard at work converting a baseball field into an outdoor hockey rink for the Toledo Walleye Winterfest.

They've also brought back Jake Tyler who was the longtime head turf manager for the Mud Hens to help with this project

Tyler now owns his own company doing field renovations in the area. He and current Mud Hens turf manager Kyle Leppelmeier and their teams have spent the week removing all of the grass. 

They have almost 500 tons of old material that they take up to the street to be removed and then they bring in 400 tons of new sand.

That all gets leveled out and then they essentially build a massive sandbox so that hockey can be played at the stadium in December.

It's a major project that they make look very easy.

For the first time in seven years, outdoor hockey returns to Fifth Third Field with two Walleye hockey outdoor games. The games are set for Sunday, December 26 vs. the Kalamazoo Wings and Friday, December 31 vs. the Indy Fuel. Both games are at 6 p.m.