Skip to main content

The ice rink at The Depot in Minneapolis is closing

The ice rink will make way for a $7 million expansion of event space at the complex.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Fans of skating in the shadow of a historic downtown Minneapolis building will be disappointed to hear the ice rink at The Depot is closing.

As part of its multi-million dollar expansion plans of The Milwaukee Road Depot and Freight House, owners CSM Corp. will close down the ice rink beneath the canopy of its iconic train shed, according to documents submitted to Minneapolis City Council.

CSM said in a news release, the refrigerant used for the rink has been phased out by the EPA and an upgraded cooling unit would be "cost-prohibitive." (This has been an issue for a bunch of other rinks in Minnesota, too.)

Though some extra days of opening have been added to the schedule, the ice rink – which is part of the adjoining Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel – will close at the end of this season on March 11.

CSM is spending $7 million expanding its events center at the 118-year-old complex. Work is due to get underway after next year's Super Bowl in Minneapolis and will be complete in fall 2018.

CSM will build an extra 20,000 square feet of event center space in the train shed, which is currently used for surface parking. This will allow it to cater to two major events at once and create new "construction and banqueting jobs."

A further 4,000-square-foot space will be constructed in the northeast end of the shed, with the ice rink converted to year-round event space.

Here's what the depot looks like now:

And here's what it'll look like after:

"The Renaissance Minneapolis event space has been a jewel of the community and we are excited to expand our downtown footprint," CSM’s lead architect John Ferrier said in the release. "CSM has worked extremely hard to create the right plan to revitalize this special place and continue our investment in the Minneapolis community."

The expansion is part of a contractual agreement struck between CSM and city officials in 1999 before The Depot's redevelopment, which stated that the entire train shed area along Washington Avenue would be developed within 20 years, according to planning documents.

It comes after CSM shut down the hotel's waterpark to make way for 110 more rooms in 2015.

118 years of history

The Milwaukee Road Depot complex was built between 1897 and 1899 and featured a train shed designed by renowned Chicago architect Charles Frost.

It was the last remaining major railroad passenger depot in Minneapolis, according to the city, and became nationally designated in 1978 and locally in 1979.

Construction of the ice rink was part of the original agreement to revamp the historic site, with the city agreeing to put around $16 million of public funding towards the $55 million redevelopment project, the City of Minneapolis website says.

Next Up

Sebastion Wolbersen-O’Hara

Police: 15-year-old missing from home north of Twin Cities

Authorities say he may be headed to the metro.

Joseph_P._Kennedy,_Sr_optimized

Foundation, the building, the win

Identifying Value Plus Catalysts helps your financial strategy and foundation

boating minnesota lake

25-year-old Hopkins man drowns after falling off boat

The man reportedly fell from the boat while fishing with friends.

mayor frey city minneapolis live stream march 14 2022

What's in Mayor Jacob Frey's budget proposal?

Here's a breakdown of what the Minneapolis mayor is focusing on in 2023-24.

Low, Mimi Parker

Low cancels Europe shows due to Mimi Parker's cancer treatment

The Duluth band says the decision follows 'recent changes' in Parker's treatment.

Screen Shot 2022-08-15 at 11.09.39 AM

Wisconsin man admits to 1992 revenge killings 15 years after boyhood tragedy

The 52-year-old man is in custody 30 years after the 1992 double murder.

Chapel of Love at Mall of America

Chapel of Love set to close at Mall of America after nearly 30 years

The owner cited retirement as the reason for the closure.

Minneapolis police

Man stabbed to death in his Minneapolis home identified

The victim's wife had an order of protection out against the suspect.

Related

It's the last weekend to ice skate at The Depot

The rink will be open until 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Then it will make way for an event center.

It's the last weekend to ice skate at The Depot

The rink will be open until 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Then it will make way for an event center.

There's no way your backyard rink looks better than this Minnesotan's

A guy from Maple Grove has the coolest backyard rink you'll see this year.

There's no way your backyard rink looks better than this Minnesotan's

A guy from Maple Grove has the coolest backyard rink you'll see this year.

The best-known bottle cap in Minneapolis is on track to get re-lit

A plan to re-light the sign should get a green light next week.

The 'Skate the Star' ice rink is returning to Mall of America

The rink raises money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.