CHICAGO — Ice hockey season may be ending, but a new rink under construction in Edison Park will give players a chance to practice their slap shots in the warmer months, too, Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) announced Monday.
Funded through a donation from the Chicago Blackhawks, the outdoor roller hockey rink promises to open in Brooks Park, 7100 N. Harlem Ave., by the outset of summer, according to Napolitano.
"The amount of kids in this neighborhood who play hockey is astronomical," the alderman said Monday. "You go to Brooks Park or Olympia Park in the summertime, and you'll see kids playing roller hockey on the tennis courts. So this is monumental."
Measuring 75 feet wide and 175 feet long, the rink will fall just short of NHL regulation size. It will be surfaced with a special SportCourt tiling surface designed especially for roller blades, Napolitano said.
City parks chief Michael Kelly is "pleased to partner with the Chicago Blackhawks to expand our recreation offerings in this community," according to a Monday statement.
Blackhawks CEO John McDonough, who was raised in Edison Park, credited the neighborhood with his success when he brought the Stanley Cup to Northwest Highway and Ottowa Avenue after the team's championship victory in 2015.
"Because of where I was raised, and where I come from, your finger prints are on this cup," McDonough said during the event in August 2015. "This is your Stanley Cup."
Napolitano approached team executives after the rally and told them about the need for hockey facilities on the Northwest Side, he said. After meeting with park officials, the team decided that Brooks Park would be an ideal spot for the new rink.
"The Blackhawks are one of the greatest sports organizations in the entire world," Napolitano said. "This is going to show the kids in this neighborhood that the city cares about them and wants them to have a place to play, day-in and day-out."