Ice skating in Battery Park City this winter has been put on ice. Unfortunately, the Battery Park City Authority was unable to locate a new contractor to operate the seasonal, outdoor rink. The removable rink was fraught with troubles when it debuted last winter on the ball fields at Warren and West Streets.
â€œIt was a fabulous community amenity last winter, and itâ€™s one that weâ€™re committed to providing in the future,â€ Authority president Gail Horowitz said.Â While Lower Manhattan dwellers and school groups enjoyed the rinkâ€™s icy goodness, revenues were low due to brutal weather conditions and construction accidents that occurred nearby. The rinkâ€™s November 2009 opening was delayed when a piece of a broken window toppled from the Goldman Sachs Tower across the street; it was subsequently closed twice due to concerns over falling debris. In January of this year, plywood from the under-constructionÂ Liberty Luxe condo towers fell into the rink while it was operational.
The Authority and the previous contractor agreed to terminate their contract over the summer. Only one proposal from a new contractor was received in the wake of the termination, but it fell through because the vendor wanted to wait a year to open the rink.
While this winter is a lost cause, the Authority does hope to hire a new contractor inÂ time to open the rink for the fall 2011 season. The Authority actually plans to renovate the Battery Park City ball fields with artificial turf next fall and permanent underpinnings will be installed. Translation: A larger rink to be enjoyed by even more skating enthusiasts.
Despite that fact, a re-opened rink is not a lock, though. A task force is currently determining whether or not the rink is a viable option and if it is the communityâ€™s first choice on how to use the ball fields in winter.
Would you like to see the ice rink reopened next year? Or are there better winter usages for the Battery Park City ball fields?