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Winter Wonderland in Civic

By johnboy 7 March 2011 22

The ABC has the exciting news that Canberra CBD is planning to run an ice rink in Garema Place this July:

Canberra CBD Limited, which represents property owners in the city, wants to set up an ice skating rink in Garema Place to attract shoppers back into the city centre.

CEO Linda Staite says the ice rink will run during the day and night and will enliven the city.

I truly can’t wait to see this.

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Winter Wonderland in Civic
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Buzz2600 12:04 pm 09 Mar 11

Matto said :

Jclarke said :

Buzz2600 said :

Ahh, nice. It’ll be like a little slice of New York city Rockefeller/Washington Smithsonian/Pentagon City ice skating rink in Canberra.

+2 I was thinking the same thing!!

I think it would be a great event to try and depending on numbers and turnout, continue every year. But do we really want to model ourselves on us&a? Aren’t we yankised enough? I don’t imagine it’s going to be cheap to run. Canberra winters are cold, but not compared to Northern North America, where in some places it struggles to get above -5/10 during the day. Some times can stay below -20 for weeks on end. I would support the idea, take the fam out for a skate everynow and then, but I feel there’s going to be too much red tape to get it off the ground. Too many whingers complaining about their hard earned tax dollars going into something that they’re not going to use. Apart from the fact that it might generate some more tourist and retail dollars, which at the end of the day, we all win.

I’m sure the US didn’t think up the idea of city ice skating rinks first. It just happens that I’ve lived there and enjoyed, along with thousands of other people, the pleasure of ice skating on a cold winters evening outdoors with the stars, the moon and fairylights twinkling with a hot chocolate or beer waiting nearby!

For the average Australian, Canberra is cold in winter, maybe not as cold as north America or Europe but cold enough. The miracle of under-surface freezer technology will do the rest of the work. So, why not turn it into a fun activity!

triffid 10:13 am 09 Mar 11

Matto said :

Canberra winters are cold, but not compared to Northern North America, where in some places it struggles to get above -5/10 during the day. Some times can stay below -20 for weeks on end.

That was part of my thinking, too, Matto. Most rinks in OZ have an ice temperature of around -4 C (that’s what the coolant pipes read as they return to the freezing plant) and an air temp of, at the most, 18 degrees. Note, though, that the buildings they are in are esentially huge fridges and could almost double as a cold store.

The rinks in, say, Holland generally have an ice temperature of -21 C (by the same measure), but have an air temperature of as high as 26 degrees (very pleasant to skate at . . . less so to train on). They also use demineralised water so that your blades (especially ‘flats’ used for speed skating) don’t wear off their eges quite so quickly (serious!). Belgian rinks, much the same. Austrian rinks, ditto. The Ice Stadium Zentrum at Innsbruck has a 400 m outdoor (long track) behind it. But, even there in winter it has a dedicated freezing plant. I think Zirl (Austria) has an outdoor 60 x30 and it, too, has a freezing plant.

‘Our’ rink would need to be in a tent, if for no other reason than to keep the sun off it and to keep the ambient air temp controlled. And / OR, it will need to be run at an ice temp of at least -20 odd (even then I think it’d be ‘soft’ ice, which is a struggle to keep an edge on). Like I said . . . can’t wait to see this happen.

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