(01/23/14) - It's a new era and new use for Atwood Stadium.
The historic Flint venue is ready to welcome in wintertime visitors for what's believed to be first time in it's almost 86 year history.
"It's beautiful weather for skating and freezing ice, by golly. We're just so tickled that we can have skating at Atwood Stadium," said Jack Stock, Kettering University external affairs director.
Kettering University will hold the public grand opening of an ice rink with skating sessions Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
"We think we're going to get some crowds here on Friday night. We'll have a hot chocolate vendor. We'll have lots of students here and families to support this ice skating venture, under the lights, that's the beauty of it," Stock said.
Skating is free, but visitors need to bring their own skates. The stadium will be staffed with personnel ready to handle first aid needs, and Kettering's public safety officers will be on site as well.
"It'll be well-staffed. We'll have security here, we'll have student workers, we'll have tons of different security watching. It'll be as safe as the dickens," Stock said.
As for the ice surface, it can hold 100 skaters at a time.
"It's 140 feet by 72 feet. Just feeling the ice, and this old farm boy has been on a few ponds before, this is much smoother than what you'll get on a normal pond. It's good skating, it really is," Stock said.
Students say the rink will go a long way in building Flint's college town image. Speaking of the community, Kettering has already been approached about hosting everything from hockey games to figure skating events.
"There's a lot of opportunity to do programming here that we're looking forward to. We're just in the infant stages, so we can't say exactly what's going to come yet, but look for us. We're going to be doing things," Stock said.
Atwood Stadium's skating rink will be open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays - with the grand opening Friday night from 6-9.
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