MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The outdoor ice skating season officially ends Sunday on the 47 outdoor rinks operated by the Minneapolis Parks Board.

But that doesn’t mean the rinks are completely closed off to skaters. That’s because, after Sunday, crews will no longer maintain the rinks.

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“Maintenance will stop maintaining the ice,” said Windom Northeast Park director Dave Garmany. “Which means, clearing snow and putting fresh water on it, and keeping it playable. The main change is we stop staffing and opening the warming rooms and the restrooms.”

Garmany said if you find a rink that’s still safe to use after today, go at it.

“Absolutely. Like any other green space in the summertime, you want to go to the ballfield that’s not otherwise programmed, you can go out there and throw a ball around,” he said. “We just don’t have (the rinks) staffed and programmed after today.”

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The main focus now for maintenance crews is to get outdoor fields ready and in good condition when spring programs begin at Minneapolis parks. That includes storing away any material needed for the rinks.

“The maintenance department, upon whatever schedule they’ll do, will start tearing down the hockey and broomball rink boards,” Garmany said. “They usually wait for a good thaw, because the boards are frozen in place.”

That could start happening early in the week, with temperatures well above zero and inching closer to freezing levels.

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