Minnesota Made new outdoor rink a big hit with kids


Minnesota Made Hockey’s new outdoor ice rink has been a hockey traditionalist’s dream come true, providing a unique and time-honored experience for young athletes, to go along with the cutting-edge training provided by Minnesota Made’s other rinks and services.

After some weather setbacks from an unseasonably warm November, the new outdoor rink has been running very smoothly. The rink is located on the south side of the property and is the standard 200 feet in length and 85 feet wide. Two dugouts were constructed to help shield athletes from the wind when they are on the bench. With Zamboni service, the surface is about as good as it gets for ice conditions, and the kids have been having a great time playing the game the way it has been played for many generations.

“The outdoor rink is awesome!” said Wilson Feltmann, a 10 year-old local hockey player from Chaska. “I was really excited when I heard they were building an outdoor rink.  The thought of being able to play outside, instead of inside, is really cool.” 

Besides the Choice League athletes, the outdoor rink is being used by many local associations such as Jefferson and Edina, along with adult groups and leagues. With the high demand for ice in a hockey-mad state, and the ice shortage that seems to be a continuing issue with the ever-expanding numbers of youth male and female hockey players, figure skaters and adult players, the outdoor rink in its first season has provided less expensive ice and a nostalgic alternative for the ice frenzy that happens every Minnesota winter.

"I love playing outdoors on the new rink!” said Maximo San Roman, an eight year-old local hockey player from Bloomington. “I love feeling the wind on my face and the way your skates sound on the cold ice is cool. It’s fun to play during the day, but especially at night, under the lights. It makes even practice a lot of fun.”

The first go-around for any outdoor rink endeavor provides challenges and real-time facility maintenance, especially in an uncontrolled environment, but the quality and functionality has improved day-by-day and week-by-week and it will continue enthralling  kids and adults alike.

“I think it’s a great setting for Minnesota hockey,” said Bloomington resident Tony Coryell. “Even though it’s cold out here, I love watching the joy on my son’s face every time he’s coming up and down the ice.”