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Baltimore Board Approves Plan For Inner Harbor Ice Skating Rink

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Credit: Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore

Credit: Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–With temperatures climbing, some Marylanders are already looking forward to cold weather. They’ll be happy to hear about a new plan to put an ice skating rink in downtown Baltimore.

Chritie Ileto has the details on the rink that could be at Pratt and Light streets by this fall.

The outdoor ice skating rink could be returning to the Inner Harbor by the end of year if the Waterfront Partnership raises enough money to make it a reality.

It’s a short cut to get from downtown to the harbor. But by fall, McKeldin Square could be home to an outdoor ice skating rink.

The city approved plans Wednesday for the temporary downtown attraction.

“It will be soooo much fun,” said Olivia Gross.

It’s already gaining steam from locals.

Laurie Schwartz, with Waterfront Partnership, says the goal is to boost foot traffic during slower winter months.

“We’re creating more reasons for people to come down do their Christmas shopping, Power Plant light show and now the ice rink,” Schwartz said/

The rink is slated to cost $450,000, with $200,000 generated by revenue from the rink. The rest has to be raised by the non-profit.

So, what happens if they can’t raise the funds?

“Then we may have to wait until next year to bring the rink,” Schwartz said.

But critics who’ve seen downtown ice rinks come and go before aren’t sold.

“I think it’s crazy because it’s not cold enough here,” one person said.

Well, last winter certainly was.

“That was one winter!” the person replied.

An outdoor ice skating rink at Rash Field in Federal Hill was closed about a decade ago, after aging equipment couldn’t keep the ice cold enough.

Still, if you ask tourists, an ice skating rink by the harbor is an attraction worth going to.

“Shopping, ice skating, big tree, tree lighting ceremony … And a Ravens game,” one tourist said.

Eventually officials say they want to install a permanent rink at Rash Field.

The Waterfront Partnership must raise the $250,000 by Labor Day to open the rink in November.

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