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.
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It's the last weekend to ice skate downtown Minneapolis at The Depot. It's closing for good Saturday night to make way for an event center.

The news was announced earlier this year, and fans have been stopping by to make their last few rounds on the rink.

According to a Facebook post by the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, will be open until 11:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

Why's it closing?

CSM Corp. 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.)

So instead up upgrading, CSM is spending $7 million to expand its events center. It 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.”

Work is due to begin after next year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis and will be complete in fall 2018.

About The Depot

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.

According to WCCO, the rink has been in operation for 15 years. It's also been named one of the "World's Coolest Skating Rinks."

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