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Navy Pier partners with Chicago Blackhawks to provide unique outdoor ice skating experience

by Chicago Blackhawks / Chicago Blackhawks

CHICAGO – Navy Pier announced today that the Chicago Blackhawks will serve as the official partner for the Pier’s new outdoor ice skating rink in Polk Bros Park, which opened to the public on June 10 and will extend through October 31, 2016. The Blackhawks will also return for the eighth consecutive year as the official partner for the ice skating rink at the 16th Annual Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest this December.

The Chicago Blackhawks Skate by the Lake Ice Rink in Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier provides Pier guests and Blackhawks fans with the unique opportunity to skate outdoors on real, authentic ice while enjoying the warm summer and fall weather. The rink is 82-feet long and 66-feet wide, and is one of many special attractions and experiences planned as part of the Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration of Navy Pier’s 100th anniversary.

“It has been a great pleasure working with the Chicago Blackhawks organization for the past several years to provide our guests with unique and exciting experiences at our annual marquee event, the Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest,” said Marilynn Kelly Gardner, President and Chief Executive Officer for Navy Pier, Inc., the non-profit organization that operates Navy Pier. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to extend our partnership to now offer a truly one-of-a-kind ice skating opportunity here in Chicago this summer and fall. We look forward to welcoming Chicago Blackhawks fans and supporters to experience the new rink and other exciting pier-wide enhancements as we celebrate 100 years of Navy Pier.”

As part of the new partnership agreement, the Blackhawks will host special events and programs for their season ticketholders and fans at the new outdoor rink, including watch party events for the World Cup of Hockey and other social gatherings for the organization’s supporters leading up to the start of the 2016-17 National Hockey League season. The ice rink will also be co-branded with Navy Pier and Chicago Blackhawks logos, colors and designs.

“We are proud to partner with Navy Pier on this innovative and unique experience for our fans,” said Blackhawks Executive Vice President Jay Blunk. “Navy Pier is the most visited attraction in the state of Illinois and the outdoor rink provides a chance for tremendous exposure for the Blackhawks brand. In addition, we will be providing everyone an interactive opportunity to ice skate in one of the most inviting settings in the country.”

The state-of-the-art ice rink is a temporary installation in the new Polk Bros Park. The Park is named in honor of the Polk family, who generously provided a gift of $20 million in 2014 for the complete re-imagination of the 13-acre park at the gateway entrance to Navy Pier.

The Polk family had a history of using creative promotions to attract customers to its Polk Bros. discount appliance and furniture stores. In 1953, for example, Polk Bros. built a summer ice skating rink in the parking lot of the Polk City complex on North Central Avenue. That rink was home to many Chicago Blackhawks practices that were free and open for public viewing.

The Chicago Blackhawks Skate by the Lake Ice Rink will be open to the public from noon until 10 p.m. daily through October 31. Tickets to the rink cost $10 for guests with their own skates and $15 for those who need to rent skates.

For more information, please visit the Navy Pier website at

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