There really is nothing like skating on an outdoor rink. Maybe it’s “being out in the elements.” Maybe it’s feeling like you’re skating on a frozen pond in northern Minnesota. Whatever it is, outdoor rinks are always fun. One of my fondest hockey memories was when the volunteer fire department froze the basketball court at the local park when I was a kid. Nothing like a day of free ice time. I’d personally take North Park/Schenley Park over a BladeRunners any day.
That’s why the decision to build a temporary rink outside Heinz Field during the Winter Classic extravaganza struck me as such a great idea. Better yet? It will only cost $7 to skate on it. The regulation-sized rink will be open to the public Dec. 24 through Jan. 2. There will be public skating sessions in addition to several youth hockey games. If you can get down there, you should. PPG Place this isn’t. Right next to Heinz Field, almost on the river…pretty cool.
This is just another in a long line of brilliant PR moves by the Penguins organization. After all, they’re the ones covering most of the costs to build it (along with the NHL). At the very least, it will be an incredible experience for all those who get to take advantage of it. Let’s just hope the weather cooperates.