If you’re an 80s/90s baby and you’re either a native of the Charlotte region or moved here during that time, there’s a good chance you remember the ice skating rink at the old Eastland Mall. For many, that was our first introduction to ice skating and that it was even a thing! Today, you can go to a few places for public ice skating in Charlotte and the surrounding area, including the Whitewater Center, The Ice at Sun Valley Commons (Indian Trail, NC), the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Southpark Mall, and Founders Holiday Ice Rink in Rock Hill, SC.
Ice skating surface at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (Charlotte, NC)
In the Queen City, this activity dates back to 1956. This was a big year for winter sports in Charlotte. On January 30, the Charlotte Coliseum hosted the first professional hockey game played in the South between the Baltimore Clippers and the New Haven Blades. The Clippers liked the city so much, they stuck around and became the Charlotte Checkers.
First public ice skating in Charlotte Coliseum
Two weeks later, Charlotteans had their first chance to wobble onto the ice at the Coliseum when it held the city’s first ever public ice skating. The event drew in a crowd of 7,000 people - plus six Red Cross volunteers who attended to a head cut, a broken nose, sprained ankles, and countless skinned knees.
Until next week!
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Information taken from:
UNC Charlotte Special Collections on Instagram: @unccspeccoll
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass