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NECN Business

Worcester Common Oval a Huge Success

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Up to 400 skaters a weekend have come to use the outdoor skating rink

    (NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - If you build they will come, so did they?

    Worcester released new numbers after opening their outdoor skating rink. More than a month after opening, this sheet of ice has become one of the biggest draws in downtown Worcester.

    Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien says the Worcester Common Oval is a huge success.

    “We did feel it would be a success but it's exceeded my expectations we've had about 7100 skaters through January 7tand didn't start until November 30.”

    Up to 400 skaters a weekend have come to use the rink. The city says weekday lunchtime skating has also drawn dozens of skaters a day.

    Steve Hass of Worcester says he has yet to try the rink, but he walks by the common all the time, and says he's happy with the addition.

    “I think it's absolutely great, think it’s one of the better things they've done in a while. I come down here see little kids with their parents bringing a great atmosphere down here.”

    The rink is drawing crowds from across the city and central Massachusetts. O'Brien says it's a way to help transform the downtown atmosphere and bring people to that part of the city.

    “It's brought more crowds downtown changing perception of what it is what it can be so it’s been pretty exciting.”

    To keep the 12,000 square foot rink in prime condition, the city is working with the DCU Center. Their management company, SMG, is taking care of the four-inch sheet of ice each day.

    “There are a lot of challenges with outdoor skating rink, rain, snow, solar glare, so it’s been a bit of a problem,” says Sandy Dunn.

    Money for skate rentals and admission go towards the costs to run and repair the rink. O'Brien says the overwhelming success of the oval means there will be more skating in the city's future.

    “We'll build off the success of this year and look forward to years ahead the more life and vitality we can bring to downtown Worcester the better for everyone.”