Episode 47- Zamboni Driver Ali Murdoch
Ali Murdock always new she wanted to work for the Tampa Bay Lightning. She didn’t know exactly what she’d do but she knew she’d be part of the team. She’s living that dream today as one of the only fulltime female Zamboni drivers in the NHL.
We had a chat with Ali to find out what it’s like to be in charge of the critical task of ice care for a pro hockey team. We, of course, ask the deep questions like, “Is there a way to treat the ice to give the home team advantage?” and “Why are people so obsessed with getting a chance to ride on a Zamboni?”
Ali takes great pride in her job and plans to spend her entire career with the Lightening if possible. If that’s not fan loyalty, we don’t know what is.
We talked about her other responsibilities and the amazing magic that seems to happen when they transform the arena from concert venue to hockey rink. She shared with us her favorite parts of the job and some of her most memorable experiences.
She even gave us the scoop on what the biggest pain to deal with was and who the biggest offenders were when it comes to clean up. Spoiler Alert: It’s KISS and their excessive confetti canon use. Just like your kid’s birthday party, the confetti never dies. They find it floating from the ceiling weeks after shows.
And what’s the grossest part of the arena? The bench, of course, but for all you germaphobes, it is cleaned very regularly.
Of course, the biggest question of all was, what kind of let down is there when you start driving your regular car instead of the giant Zamboni? Is it weird?
The precision and scientific understanding of the temperature needs to give the ice optimal playing conditions is fascinating and far more in-depth than the average attendee or even skater would understand.
Ali does her job with great pride. She says she and her team have a great rapport and work incredibly well together to make everything run smoothly. She loves every aspect of what she does and doesn’t even seem put out that she’s not allowed to watch the shows and performances happening during her downtime.
She also has an incredible love for her boss and works hard to make him proud each day. She shared with us that he’s currently struggling with a debilitating illness and she wants him to know that they’re keeping things going as he would want them to.
It truly seems like a dream job come true for Ali and for those youngsters dreaming of working with or as part of their favorite sports teams someday, it absolutely can happen! Ali is proof and she’s set the stage for even more women to take up the role of the most important machine in hockey.
If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and would like to see Ali in action or take in a game, be sure to visit: https://www.nhl.com/lightning.