Lasker Ice Rink In Central Park Shuts Down For Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ice skaters and hockey players have been left high and dry, after the Trump Lasker Rink in Central Park shut down for the season.

An announcement on the website for Lasker Rink’s website said the facility will be closed for the entirety of the 2014-2015 skating season.

“The City engineers have been through our facility and realized the refrigeration plant must be replace,” the notice said.

The rink at the northern side of Central Park has been formally known as Trump Lasker Rink since Donald Trump took over running it in 2001.

Managers of the rink did not return a call from the Associated Press seeking comment Saturday.

The rink is home to youth and adult hockey leagues, as well as a skating school.

The nonprofit Ice Hockey in Harlem is one of the groups that rely on the Lasker Rink. The group, which serves 240 children uses the rink for every home game and practice.

“I just want to convey that it’s much more than just a loss of some entertainment on a Wednesday or Friday evening, but really a community resource for these families,” said Brad Preston, program manager for Ice Hockey in Harlem.

Preston said the hockey program will keep going despite the loss of the rink.

“We are not going to shut down. We are going to keep going in some form with programming for our children,” Preston said. “We are looking to friends in the Tri-State Area for support in the hockey community, and also beyond.”

But some teams have already had to go all the way to Putnam County to practice, Preston said.

“The rink has been closed for about a week and a half now and we thought it would be short-term, but in the interim, we actually have two of our teams – our 9- and 10-year-old boys’ team and our 12-year-old girls’ team, are up in Brewster, New York having a practice up there which, they took a bus to get there from Harlem,” he said.

The Trump Skating Rink farther south in Central Park – formerly known as the Wollman Rink – remains open.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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