SAN ANTONIO -- You shouldn't bet on any local lakes freezing over to host pick-up hockey games, but for the first time San Antonians can lace up some skates and hit an outdoor ice rink in downtown.
- Outdoor skating rink has opened at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio
- San Antonio Rampage players, Rotary Club of San Antonio on hand for opening
- Admission is $10 and skates can be rented for $4
“When you think of Texas, you don’t think of outdoor ice, but seeing how excited everyone is about it, it’s pretty cool,” said Nolan Stevens, San Antonio Rampage forward.
The Rotary Club of San Antonio teamed up with the San Antonio Rampage to open the open-air rink in Travis Park. The first skaters took the ice on Friday and the city says it’s already seen a couple thousand visitors.
“Back home in my backyard, we used to make a little rink, so growing up that’s about all me and my dad and brothers would do is go skate in the backyard on the outdoor rink,” said Tanner Kaspick, Rampage center.
On Monday, the rink celebrated its official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. And it got the professionals’ stamp of approval.
“I’m surprised to see the ice looking that good when the weather’s this nice,” Kaspick said. “It’s a little different from back home in Canada where we have one of these every few blocks.”
About a hundred kids from the Boys and Girls club took the ice as part of the grand opening, and had special help from the Rampage players.
“That’s one of my earliest memories, is just getting on the ice for the first time and just being able to share that with the kids around here and see how they do and see if they can get better as the day goes on, it’s going to be pretty cool,” Stevens said.
Even though San Antonio only has one permanent, year-round public rink, the players say hockey is still very much appreciated in San Antonio.
“It’s awesome actually. I wasn’t sure coming down here what the interest would be but we get a lot of fan and they’re loud and they’re into the games,” Kaspick said.
“We feel like we’re a big NHL club and guys like playing here, guys like coming here and playing,” said Jordan Nolan, Rampage left wing.
Admission is $10 and skates are available to rent for $4. It will be open until the end of January.