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The ice rinks cometh: Prospect Park skating complex opens Dec. 20 • Brooklyn Paper

The ice rinks cometh: Prospect Park skating complex opens Dec. 20

Almost there: The newly named Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center is slated for a December opening.
OTTO / Michael Moran

It is almost skate o’clock.

Prospect Park’s long-awaited ice skating complex, which will feature two covered and two uncovered rinks for ice-skating and hockey in the winter months, and will double as a roller skating area when the weather gets warmer, will open on Dec 20, park officials announced this week.

“We are so excited to be just a few weeks away from Brooklyn residents and visitors being able to enjoy the impressive new facilities,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Emily Lloyd in a statement.

The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside, named for late real estate billionaires whose kids donated $10-million to the project, will accommodate 450 people and be used for ice-skating and ice hockey every November until through March, and one will be re-purposed for roller-skating from April to October. It will replace the Robert Moses-era Wollman Rink, which closed in 2010 after nearly 50 years in operation.

The LeFrak Center’s ice skating rinks may be the only such facilities in Brooklyn outside of Coney Island’s Abe Stark Arena and Mill Basin’s Aviator Field if the rink in McCarren Park does not see enough traffic to satisfy park honchos. So far the Williamsburg rink’s operator, the Open Space Alliance, has only pledged to keep the pond open into January and says it will melt the ice if it does not pull in enough people and money.

Fortunately for borough salchow spinners, the rink has drawn enthusiastic crowds since it opened atop the park’s pool on Nov. 15, according to park managers.

“In the three weeks since it has opened McCarren Rink has had well over 9,000 visitors,” Open Space Alliance spokesman Phillip Ramirez said. “OSA is successfully on track, thrilled with the numbers so far, and happy that the response from the community has been so positive.”

Ice skating admission in Prospect Park will be $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends and holidays, according to the Prospect Park Alliance, though entry to the LeFrak Center — boasting a year-round café and event space — will be free.

Every Monday, excluding holidays, children 12 and younger will be skate for free between 3 and 6 pm Skates will run $5 per pair.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.

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