Ice skating set to return to downtown Rome this coming November

Thursday, June 8, 2023–1:37 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Director Todd Wofford shares details regarding an ice skating rink during Thursday’s Rome Downtown Development Authority meeting.

Ice skating could be returning to downtown Rome for the holiday season.

Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Director Todd Wofford told members of the Rome Downtown Development Authority Thursday about plans for an outdoor skating rink at Bridgepoint Plaza that will be open from Black Friday until Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The 60-foot by 100-foot rink will be housed under a giant aluminum tent. A similar skating rink has been a huge attraction in Canton over the last five years.

“They also did it in Cartersville last year,” Wofford said.  “They didn’t want to go back because they didn’t have adequate power. They had to run on diesel fuel last year and several times they ran out. Plus, the cost of diesel went through the roof. That rink was not this big. They are taking that rink to another city. I’ve got to get it finalized in the next two weeks because they have to order all the materials.”

Georgia Power will set the transformers up on a pole across from Moe’s Original BBQ to supply the electricity. According to Wofford, he has spoken to representatives from Moe’s and they are excited about the skating rink.

Wofford told the DDA that details regarding parking needs also to be worked out, with Heritage Park being one possible option. He added that most of the daytime activity will be elementary school groups who will be bused in.

Rome and Floyd County’s last venture into ice skating was the Forum on Ice which ran during the holidays from 2018 to 2020 at the Forum River Center. 

“We run pretty much all our elementary schools right now through our gymnastics program,” he said. “So, we are going to do the same thing and bus them in during the day. They’ll come into Heritage Park, and walk across the footbridge. When they get an armband, it’s for the day. So, they go home and they bring mom and dad back downtown that night.”

Wofford told the DDA that the choices for the skating rink were Bridgepoint Plaza or Ridgeferry Park and that he believed the downtown location was the best for all involved. The DDA agreed, giving Wofford their blessing to proceed.  

According to Wofford, around $50,000 in sponsorships need to be generated for the skating rink. He already has $25,000 in verbal commitments so he believes that is an attainable goal. DDA board members expressed an interest in providing some type of in-kind services for the skating rink. What those might include will likely be known once the budget and other details are worked out.

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