Inner Harbor ice rink set to open by Nov. 21

Waterfront Partnership seeking sponsors for McKeldin Square attraction

September 29, 2014|By Scott Dance | The Baltimore Sun

An Inner Harbor ice rink is set to open by Nov. 21, and an ongoing fundraising effort will determine how large it will be, according to the Waterfront Partnership.

The organization has hired Virginia-based Rink Management Services Corp. to construct and operate a rink at McKeldin Square, said Laurie Schwartz, president of the partnership. It's scheduled to be open through Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in late January.

It will bring ice skating back to the Inner Harbor for the first time in about a decade, though at a different location than its longtime home at Rash Field. Partnership officials still hope to bring a permanent rink back to Rash Field in the future, but Schwartz said a rink is planned for McKeldin Square for at least the next few years.

"We're still working on lots of details, but we made the decision to go ahead," Schwartz said.

The partnership is aiming to raise about $125,000 to cover the rink construction and decor, operations and promotions, she said. If it hits that goal, the rink will be 120 feet by 60 feet, but otherwise it could be scaled back to 80 feet by 68 feet, instead, she said.

Aside from open skate times, the rink will offer skating lessons and host games of broomball, among other events, Schwartz said. Child admission will be $7, and adult admission will be $9, with a $3 skate rental fee.

The plans are slightly scaled back from what officials hoped for when city officials in July approved an agreement to allow the organization to use the park for the ice rink. At that point, officials hoped to operate the rink from November through February.

Schwartz said by the time partnership officials began looking for corporate sponsors in June, many already had other commitments, but expressed interest in sponsoring the rink for the winter of 2015-2016.

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