MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - This will be the last season for the Depot ice rink in downtown Minneapolis, as the historic building turned event center plans for a 24,000-square-foot expansion.
CSM Corporation said the demand for event space downtown has prompted them to launch a $7 million renovation.
“We were getting so many inquiries for event space—we thought we were doing more for the community by adding event space than plowing millions of dollars into fixing the rink,” said Patrick Klinger of the Brand Enhancement Group, the marketing firm representing CSM.
Klinger says when the company started planning the remodel, they discovered the refrigerant used in the rink’s cooling unit had been phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency and would have to be replaced.
The price of updating the cooling unit, coupled with the demand for more event space prompted the decision to do away with the rink.
“It would cost millions of dollars to fix the refrigeration system,” said Klinger.
After the expansion, the event space will extend into the parking shed. It will allow, for the first time, two events to take place simultaneously.
CSM says the 24,000-square-foot expansion will honor the history of the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“I think you’ll see a really beautiful, really unique—but also a facility that honors the past,” said Klinger.
The last day of ice skating at the Depot is March 11. In the final weeks, free coffee and hot chocolate will be offered on weekdays. The rink's remaining schedule can be found here.
Construction will begin after the Super Bowl in 2018, with the new space opening in fall of 2018.