INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A local ice rink is shutting down for the rest of the season. Indy Parks temporarily closed the Perry Park ice skating rink to repair mechanical issues.
City officials hoped the rink would last a few more weeks. A sign posted on the front door announced that Friday, December 22 would be the rink’s last day for the 2017 season.
“We know this is going to be a big deal,” Ronnetta Spalding, with Indy Parks.
Normally, the Perry Park skating rink closes in March. The early closure is leaving hundreds of youth skaters and hockey players scrambling to find a place to play. This is mid-season for local hockey programs.
“It’s pretty devastating for us,” explains Adam Palmer, Assistant Coach with the South Stars Hockey Club.
South Stars Hockey Club consists of high schoolers from ten area schools. Teams practice and play games at the Perry Park rink at least a few times each week.
“We will struggle to find our location,” explains Coach Palmer.
Perry Park rink is the only rink of the city’s southside, the closest one is in Columbus or at the fairgrounds and availability is limited.
“We’ll be stuck with whatever’s left. I venture to guess, I suspect we may get the 5 a.m. in the morning through the week or the midnight shift somewhere if we’re lucky,” explains Coach Palmer, Assistant Coach with the South Stars Hockey Club.
There are more than 225 kids that are part of the Junior Fuel Hockey Club. Coaches with the Junior Fuel Hockey Club tell FOX 59 their teams use the Perry Park ice rink nearly every day. Now the league is looking for a new location.
“It’s a lot of kids that will be out of ice here really soon,” explains Coach Palmer.
The rink has been having problems with the ice hardening since September. The repairs will require thawing the ice and digging down into the concrete.
“We are not able to shut it down temporarily, we’re not able to do the work on the weekends. This is a full blown, shut it down and rebuild it again,” explains Spalding.
“Of course, I question why now but I understand why now,” explains Coach Palmer.
Coaches and players are now focused on finding ice, while crews are focused on fixing the Perry Park rink.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and we understand their concerns,” explain Spalding.
Indy Park officials plan to re-open the rink next fall. No exact date has been announced.