It's been a long week for parents and teams that use the Atlantic City Skate Zone, but it appears the doors are staying open -- at least until 2023.

There were reports starting Friday that a shutdown of the rink was imminent. The Black Bear Sports Group, which operates the building under a lease agreement with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, was unsuccessful in its attempts to extend their deal and the Skate Zone.  It was reported that the Skate Zone would close on March 7, 2022.

However, it appears that will no longer be happening.

According to a statement from the City of Atlantic City, the city will temporarily operate the facility as an ice skating rink through April 2023.

The City of Atlantic City released the following statement tonight on the Atlantic City Skate Zone:

“The City of Atlantic City has a master lease with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for the land where Skate Zone currently exists. CRDA, through a sublease with Comcast, built a facility on this land, which is now operated and known as the Atlantic City Skate Zone. Upon termination of this lease on April 14, 2022, the facility reverts to the City.

Mayor Small and Administration officials conducted a walkthrough of the Atlantic City Skate Zone facility this evening. After discussions with the CRDA and Comcast, the City of Atlantic City will continue to temporarily operate the facility as an ice skating rink through April 2023.

The building is in need of serious repairs and we look forward to ensuring those repairs are made. The City continues to work on identifying the best possible long-term use for this facility while also keeping the interest and needs of Atlantic City residents in mind.”

As the release from the Mayor's office stated, Mayor Small took a walk-through of the facility and after discussing with Comcast and the CRDA, the city will operate the rink once the lease with the Black Bear Sports Group expires.

There was a parent meeting at the rink on Tuesday night to help save the rink and voice their concerns about the rink closing.  The rink is home to many local teams including the Atlantic City Sharks, which fields several travel teams, as well as middle/high school teams, figure skating, a men's league, and the Stockton University Ice Hockey Team, which plays TCNJ Friday night at 8 p.m.

"I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are pleased with this outcome," said Tim Vant, who is an assistant coach for Mainland high school hockey team and a former AC Sharks player.

Vant has used the Skate Zone as a player and coach. Mainland high is one of the teams that use the Skate Zone as do Sharks.

"We say thank you to Mayor Marty Small, city council president George Tibbitt, the CRDA, everyone who took the time to sign the petition, and everyone else who was involved in this process of keeping the rink open for another year. All The families that use this rink for hockey, figure skating, and public skate are looking forward to the future of this rink and we look forward to working with the city to make the rink the best that it can be."

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