ST. PAUL, Minn. - A popular refrigerated outdoor rink is in danger of not opening on time after thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of copper pipe used to cool the ice.

And the delay in opening isn't the only bad news for fans of the Phalen rink: pipe replacement and repairs to damaged equipment could cost $30,000.

The theft and vandalism happened over the weekend at the Phalen Recreation Center, located at1000 E. Wheelock Parkway.

The 64 pipes stolen are each 4 feet long and 1 inch in diameter, adding up to 256 feet of copper, St. Paul Parks and Recreation spokesman Brad Meyer told the Pioneer Press. They make up the cooling system of the refrigerated rink and go under the ice.

"Anything that has copper that's exposed before the first snowfall, we see instances of vandalism," Meyer told the Pioneer Press. "This is the first time that the amount of damage to the refrigerated rank may cause a delay with getting the refrigerated rink online."

St. Paul's refrigerated rinks generally open around Thanksgiving, depending on the weather. At this point the city isn't certain whether pipe replacement and repairs can be made in time.

Read or Share this story: