The shuttered Wollman Rink in Central Park has seen better days. The lockers are empty and piles of discarded ice skates have gone unworn.
What You Need To Know
- Central Park's Wollman Rink is set to reopen in November under new ownership
- The site was most recently operated by the Trump Administration
- The city terminated the contract with the group following the Capitol riots
- The new owners are promising to not take a profit and invest in the community
“What you see here is what we’re inheriting,” said David Gould, an officer with Wollman Park Partners.
David Gould is an officer with the newly formed Wollman Park Partners. The joint venture includes Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Prudential Center; Related Companies, a real estate firm; and Equinox. The group has been selected by the Parks Department to operate and maintain the ice skating rink.
“We want to make sure the site is accessible both from a physical accessibility standpoint but then also in terms of price points. Whether it be food or admission,” said Gould.
The proposal promises to reinvest in the community — the group will not make a profit, any additional proceeds will go back to the park or community groups.
There’s also a big focus on its community partners. Ice Hockey in Harlem is one of them. The non-profit provides free hockey lessons — with a focus on getting more kids of color on the ice.
“For a lot of these kids is the single most important thing in their life. Everyone goes to school, everyone goes to the after-school center but to play hockey, to be an ice hockey player and especially a player of color, it really helps them,” said Malik Garvin, the program director of Ice Hockey in Harlem.
The concessions are also getting an upgrade. The new operators have partnered with Melba’s, the famous Harlem comfort food restaurant, to provide a menu with local flavor at the rink.
“Well, when I think about what we’re going to create here, I always start with the most important word delicious. It’s going to be something that you can’t wait to jump off the ice and have a quick bite,” said Liz Neumark, founder of Great Performances Catering.
The Parks Department anticipates Wollman Rink reopening in November.