Friday, October 02, 2009

Coming to Downtown This Holiday Season: Competing Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks

Oh, crass, crass AEG. I shoulda known they would yank their support for Pershing Square's Downtown on Ice once L.A. Live opened.

The Downtown News has confirmed that the L.A. Kings, which has sponsored the holiday tradition for 10 years, has yanked its support in order to sponsor a new outdoor rink at L.A. Live.

The good news is the city plans to continue with Pershing Square's Downtown on Ice (where Maria and I got engaged -- so yes, we're a bit sentimental about it) this summer, even without the Kings' support. More:

The Los Angeles Kings this year are dropping their sponsorship of the Downtown On Ice rink at Pershing Square after a decade-long partnership. Instead, the team will sponsor a new, temporary rink at L.A. Live, Kings Vice President of Communications Michael Altieri told Los Angeles Downtown News.

“We’ve had 10 great years, but we now have an opportunity with L.A. Live to establish what we feel will be a premier ice rink in the same vein as Rockefeller Center in New York,” said Altieri. “It’s such a great location.”

The new rink, he said, will be set up at Nokia Plaza, the open courtyard inside L.A. Live’s main entrance off Olympic Boulevard. The rink will open in late November and run into January, Altieri said, though he was not able to provide exact dates.

The Pershing Square rink will run from Nov. 19-Jan. 19 without the Kings, regardless of whether the Department of Recreation and Parks can find a replacement sponsor, said Pershing Square Facility Manager Ann Vollmer.

Losing the Kings’ sponsorship will cost the city approximately $100,000, said L.A. Parks Foundation Executive Director Judith Kieffer, who is working on finding a corporate sponsor for the rink.

Still, the lunchtime and evening concerts that have livened up Downtown On Ice in previous years will go on this year, Vollmer said.

To me, there's not even a contest. Skating at night under the lights of the city skyscrapers at Downtown on Ice easily beats skating under a giant "NOKIA" sign and ads at L.A. Live.

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