ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) –- St. Paul Winter Carnival officials announced Wednesday they have canceled the “Ice Palace Project” due to a lack of financial support.
Ice Cold Events, LLC, runs the annual project that is part of the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
“We did the right work, we did all that we could,” said Ice Cold Events’ Rosanne Bump.
The group spent considerable time working with possible funders and sponsors, but could not guarantee enough money for the project to move forward.
They need to raise a minimum $5 million with a title sponsor.
“It’s a multi-million-dollar project, and so we really needed to have that funder and that backing so at the end of the day, we could pay our bills and make sure that the organization remains strong,” Bump said.
The group built an ice place when the Super Bowl was at the Metrodome in 1992. The construction costs forced the St. Paul Winter Carnival Association to file for bankruptcy, despite 2.5 million people seeing the ice palace.
And the team refused to have a repeat.
“We are looking at it from a financial perspective,” Bump said. “It’s just best to make the decision to not do it if we don’t have the funds.”
The St. Paul Winter Carnival will run for an extra week in 2018 to connect with Super Bowl-related events. It will run from Jan. 25 to Feb. 10.
Vadnais Heights announced plans last April to turn a plot of land into the “Northern Lights and Ice Festival.” Plans were scrapped soon after.
While Vadnais Heights Mayor Bob Fletcher says he feels badly the ice palace didn’t work out in St. Paul, it’s revived calls for a festival in his city. He says moving forward will be contingent on a site location and fundraising.
Any ice palace there would be delivered on a smaller scale. A decision is expected in the next two weeks.