St. Louis Park adds ice rink to recreation center

The St. Louis Park Recreation Center recently added an outdoor ice rink. This new rink will make it easier for local hockey teams to get ice time.

Jack Feyereisn, Staff Writer

This winter, the city of St. Louis Park opened its newly reconstructed Recreation Outdoor Center for open skate on the new outdoor rink that was approved by the city council in the March of 2016. The center now includes a new outdoor ice rink covered by a roof, but the council halted the installation of the roof until after Presidents Day.

Fortunately for the BSM hockey team, the new project should not affect the season. “I suppose if there’s any direct impact, it’s just the fact that the association will be able to get more ice time, so that might give us more options in terms of when we are going to practice,” Boys’ Hockey coach Mr. Ken Pauly said.

As far as games go, the Red Knights do not plan on playing any games on the outdoor rink anytime soon. “I’d like to see the quality of the ice. I’ve been involved in two events where we have played at TCF Bank Stadium…and both times the ice conditions were not very good,” Pauly said.

Outdoor rinks are different than indoor rinks because they can bring conditions into play that normally wouldn’t be a factor with indoor rinks. “We [typically] build indoor rinks because with outdoor rinks, conditions are really unstable outside, so conditions may be really great one week for ice and then the next week it’s bad. It does bring a different element to the game that you don’t get inside. I get really cold when I’m outside, so I prefer inside [rinks],” Pauly said.

Despite the confusion and complications the renovations may cause, in the end, the project will be beneficial for the city. “It’s an economical way for the city to add another arena, and ice time is really at a premium and when people sign up for their local association. [The hockey teams] don’t want to travel all over the metro for practice, so it gives them another option, and honestly I think [the rink] looks pretty cool,” Pauly said.