The ice rink in Rosemont's entertainment district already is a popular wintertime destination for skaters, but come February, the rink will be open for those with sticks and pucks, too.
The village is planning to host hockey games and make the rink available for practices from Feb. 9 through March 2, officials said Wednesday.
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Mayor Bradley Stephens said officials have decided to open the rink up to hockey in February because that's when attendance has traditionally declined for ice skating at MB Financial Park, located east of the Tri-State Tollway near Balmoral Avenue.
The rink, which sits on an AstroTurf field used for summer concerts, opened for the first time in 2010.
"Kids are back in school, so there's less public skating," Stephens said.
This year's public skating season will run from Nov. 29 through Feb. 2, and hockey at the rink will kick off Feb. 8 with a college club game between Northwestern and Loyola.
Ice rink operator Kevin Mann will manage the lease of ice time for those looking to play pickup hockey games or practice. Stephens said an agreement is still being formulated between the village and Mann about how ice time fees will be split.
On Wednesday, the village board approved a $200,710 contract with Cascadia Sport Systems Inc. to put in 15 to 20 feet high flexiglass and safety netting above the existing village-owned dasher boards. The company also will install penalty boxes and benches for teams.
A ceremony formally announcing the coming of hockey to the rink is scheduled for later this month.