Moscow’s VDNKh Park: World’s Largest Skating Rink
Moscow this weekend opened a new ice skating rink at the All Russia Exhibition Center (known by it’s Russian acronym as VDNKh), which the city claims to be the largest artificial rink in the world. At nearly 21,000 square meters of ice, it is three times the area of a soccer field and 1,300 sqm bigger than its nearest rival in Holland.
The rink will operate six days a week (excluding Monday) from 11am till 11pm Tuesday through Thursday and from 10am till 11pm Friday through Sunday. Moscow expects an average daily attendance of 20,000 people and a total of 1.5 million people over the 3.5 months it will operate.
With tickets costing from 200 rubles ($4) to 400 rubles depending on the time and day, the city could pull in around $10mln from ticket sales and additional revenue from the five coffee shops working at the rink.
This weekend got off to a busy start with Russian news reporting that 150,000 people showing up to the park on Saturday, causing huge lines and triggering short tempers. The ice rink can hold 4,500 at one time.
During my visit on Sunday evening, the lines ran for several hundred meters with easily one thousand people standing in just one of the lines. The skating rink has two medical posts and 40 so-called ‘ice police’ to help out and keep order.