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Ice Skating Canceled in McCarren and Prospect Parks This Winter

By Meredith Hoffman | October 9, 2012 11:14am | Updated on October 9, 2012 2:07pm

WILLIAMSBURG — Ice skaters' hopes are melting this winter, with Brooklyn's two major outdoor rinks cancelling their seasons just weeks before their slated openings.

McCarren Pool's much-anticipated ice rink will not debut this year, community leaders said, and Prospect Park's staple Wollman Rink will remain closed as well, the Brooklyn Paper reported. 

"We got behind in our talks with the city...and the deadline for ordering the rink came and went," admitted Stephen Hindy, board chair for the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, which planned the rink. "I am disappointed...but we're very confident we can do it next season."

Hindy said the rink would have been able to open in December instead of October, but that the "financial risk was too great" to make enough money in a shortened season.

"We let our executive director go in July," he noted, attributing part of OSA's inefficiency to the lack of real leadership since it dismissed previous executive director Stephanie Thayer. "Obviously being without an executive director is not a good situation...we hope to hire a new one within the next month."

Prospect Park, which was slated to have a new rink by this year, will also not be ready for skaters, Prospect Park Alliance spokesman Paul Nelson told the Brooklyn Paper.

Hindy noted that he hopes to hold other winter programming at McCarren Pool, including a potential Halloween event for children and adults. 

The Parks Department said they were still in talks with a proposal for McCarren Rink, which Hindy said would open next October.

"We are currently in the process of finalizing our agreement with the winning proposer for the ice rink," a spokeswoman for the agency said. "Once the agreement is finalized we will move through our normal public process of announcing this to the community."