Warm Temps, Rain Close Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks

Posted at: 01/11/2013 4:36 PM
Updated at: 01/14/2013 1:47 PM
By: Leslie Dyste

It's hard for us to hear this about our outdoor ice rinks in the state of hockey: Closed, indefinitely.

From the city to the suburbs , it's the same story. And it's not what Angie Weems and 30 of her co-workers wanted to see when she showed up at the outdoor ice rink at Lake of the Isles.  It's normally a Mecca for skaters in Minneapolis.

They were turned away because there's more water than white on the rink.

Carol Wiesc, a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Employee, told us, "the rink looks like a big pond right now, standing water."

"Unfortunately mother nature dictates when they open and when they close based on temperature and precipitation," according to Dawn Sommers, Spokesperson for the Park Board.

Rink workers locked up the warming houses early and closed down rinks until further notice.  Signs let would-be skaters know what little ice there is, is unsafe. 

It's a similar sight whether you're in Minneapolis or Minnetonka.  Anoka or Burnsville.  More than 100 outdoor rinks are off limits.

Coon Rapids closed its rinks down for Thursday and Friday.

Despite the bad news for ice skaters, there is a sliver of good news for cities.  Every day the rinks are closed it saves them a bit of money.  That's because maintenance costs are lower since workers don't need to put down water that won't freeze.  A small fiscal benefit involving a physical sport.

A list of rink closings is available here. Or, you can also check your city's website for updates on rinks in your area.

Editors Note: KSTP initially reported Coon Rapids closed its rinks for the season. We later corrected that statement.