50 Foster Street Worcester, MA 01608
(Worcester, Massachusetts, October 22, 2012) – City Manager Michael V. O’Brien announced today that New England’s second-largest city—and home to the AHL’s Worcester Sharks—will open, for the first time in its history, a public ice skating rink on the historic Worcester Common on Friday, November 30.
The rink—aptly named the Worcester Common Oval—will be professionally managed by SMG, the DCU Center’s talented management team and the world's leading private management and developing firm for public assembly facilities. The 12,000-square-foot rink, which is 4,000 square feet larger than the size of the Rink at Rockefeller Center, will be complete with amenities, such as piped-in music, skate rentals, lockers, concessions, holiday lights, and more, making it a fun and affordable family-friendly activity. The recently installed energy-efficient HVAC system for City Hall and glycol grid will keep perfect skating ice even in temperatures as high as 75 degrees!
“The rink is yet another success story for our Downtown. It will be beautiful and first-class,” said City Manager O’Brien. “I am grateful to those in the community who continue to recognize the potential of our great City and step up time and time again to make things happen.”
As with many endeavors, the opening of the rink is a private-public partnership that has garnered widespread support, with major sponsors and partners signing-on to assist with the financial and operational costs associated with the rink for a four-month period. The lead sponsor is Fallon Community Health Plan. Additional sponsors include Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Polar Beverages, Massachusetts School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, UNUM, Clark University, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Bay State Savings Bank, and University of Massachusetts Medical School.
“Fallon Community Health Plan is thrilled to partner with the City of Worcester to help make the Worcester Common Oval a reality and an exciting new, family-friendly destination for Downtown,” said W. Patrick Hughes, President and CEO of Fallon Community Health Plan. “For 35 years, we’ve called the extraordinary City of Worcester ‘home.’ We have always valued our partnership with the City, especially when we work together to benefit the community.”
As part of the rink’s operations, the Worcester Cultural Coalition, The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Worcester Sharks, Destination Worcester, Worcester Historical Museum, SMG-managed DCU Center, First Night Worcester, Worcester Public Library Foundation, and many others will assist in bringing unique programming and activities to the rink and in the park such as exhibitions, skate-a-thons, learn-to-skate clinics, snow-shoeing, and more.
The rink will open on November 30th, as part of the City’s annual Festival of Lights, and be open for Open Skate every weekend in December, January and February, as well as holidays and school vacation weeks. Programming for weekday activities is still being finalized but will include activities such as exhibitions, skate clinics, mom-and-tot lessons and more. Admission is $2 and skate rentals will be affordably priced.
Additional information on the rink will be posted on Facebook – @Worcester Common Oval. Additional information about Festival of Lights will be released in the coming weeks.
SMG is the world's leading private management and developing firm for public assembly facilities. Headquartered in Philadelphia, SMG provides management services to over 200 public assembly facilities including arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, theatres and convention, conference and trade centers. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through SAVOR… Catering by SMG, which currently services 65 accounts worldwide.