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Associated Press
The new $10 million Youth Arena officially opened Monday after several hundred people attended a free ice skating event Saturday.

Ice rink opens at state fairgrounds

– Ice skating has returned to the Indiana State Fairgrounds with the opening of the new $10 million Youth Arena as part of the ongoing Fairgrounds Coliseum renovation.

The new rink officially opened Monday after several hundred people attended a free public skating event Saturday, the Indianapolis Star reported.

“I think it’s a vast improvement,” said Tom Stropky, who brought his figure-skating teenage daughter to the rink.

“It’s very bright, and you don’t have a sense of being in a barn like in the old coliseum.”

The rink is the new home ice for some youth hockey teams and the amateur figure skaters of the Winter Club of Indianapolis.

Club members had bounced around different rinks for the past year and a half, skating in Carmel and at Pan Am Plaza in downtown Indianapolis.

“We finally have a home,” said John Katterjohn, the Winter Club’s president.

Work began last October on the $63 million coliseum renovation project, which is scheduled for completion before next summer’s Indiana State Fair.

The renovation of the 74-year-old coliseum involved gutting the interior to build two-level seating for 8,200 people and install a video scoreboard and a state-of-the-art sound system.

The coliseum will also be able to be converted into an ice rink.

“The coliseum has been the ice skating hub for so many people for so many years,” said Andy Klotz, spokesman for the Indiana State Fair Commission. “This is the facility they’ll want to come to.”

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