ROSEVILLE, Minn. (FOX 9) - Roseville's outdoor rink is officially open for the winter season, and opening week has brought warmer weather than skaters may be used to this time of year.
The Roseville Skating Center opened its outdoor rink, the Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval, on Friday.
However, this week has been one of those weeks when Minnesotans have to constantly remind themselves it's November.
"I've been waiting for this all year. This is good. Great ice," said Gary Groen, who was skating at the Oval on Monday.
Though the weather has felt anything but wintry, luckily, Roseville’s facility has 110,000 square feet of refrigerated ice.
"We can handle it this week, and moving forward, I think it looks like the temperatures are going to be a little bit more conducive to keeping ice frozen," said Kevin Elm, the superintendent of Roseville Skating Center.
Elm remembers last year, opening the outdoor rink for the season brought different challenges: It snowed constantly, making it difficult to build ice. It’s a far cry from the scene Monday night, when youth enjoyed 50-degree hockey practice.
"Sometimes, they'll be in shorts and t-shirts, and it's quite a stark contrast from when it's 20-below out here, and people are freezing," Elm said.
Though this warmer stretch is surreal and may be closer to golf course weather, the skaters feel like they've hit the jackpot.
"Like a lottery or skating at Lake Tahoe in California," Groen said.
"It's super weird. I love all kinds of winter sports, and this is the first one to open this year, so I couldn't wait to get out. But it is the first time I've seen so much grass and ice side by side," said Jason Peterson, who was also skating at the Oval on Monday afternoon.
The Oval is currently competing in a USA Today contest for the best ice skating rink in the country.
As of Monday night, Roseville’s rink was in first place.