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Grand Rapids announces plans for public ice skating season at Van Andel Arena

Van Andel Arena
City of Grand Rapids
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City of Grand Rapids announces plans for public ice skating at Van Andel Arena

The indoor facility was sought as an alternative skate location, while restoration of the traditional venue, Rosa Parks Circle, continues.

More winter fun could be underway in downtown Grand Rapids. The city and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are partnering to host a public ice skating season at Van Andel Arena.  

Plans are still awaiting City Commission approval, but spear headers of the proposal, within the City of Grand Rapids and Downtown Development Authority say they’re confident the plan will bring a great experience to west Michiganders this winter.

“We know how important the winter skating season is to the community,” Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt said. “Although it won’t be in the usual location, we are confident Van Andel Arena will offer a great ice-skating experience to make new memories this season. We are grateful for the DDA’s continued partnership in this treasured Grand Rapids tradition.”

The indoor facility was sought as an alternative skate location, while restoration of the traditional venue, Rosa Parks Circle, continues.

“We are excited to be working with City of Grand Rapids and Convention Arena Authority to find a new way to offer skating this season,” Tim Kelly, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. president and CEO, said. “While we know the community loves the rink at Rosa Parks Circle, Van Andel Arena is an ideal venue to host a revised skating season. Not only is it equipped with an existing rink, but it can accommodate many skaters the same time while allowing for appropriate distancing. We look forward to welcoming the community back Downtown to skate.”

The DDA has approved repurposing of its $40,000 line item intended for skating operations at Rosa Parks Circle to help fund the project. The Grand Rapids City Commission will consider a similar request for the City’s portion of funding during its Dec. 14 meeting.

If approved, the city will release open skate dates, time slots, COVID-19 protocols and other season details at a later date.