“Last year we did just over 30, this year we’ve got 45 in the ground and 15 more on the schedule,” said Co-owner Taylor Rinta. “We’ve got at least six or so weeks to keep building.”
In the summer they do window cleaning and pressure washing, but needed something to keep busy in colder months.
“I mean it just makes sense in Minnesota to be building hockey rinks, right?”
Rinta says all you need is some space in the yard that’s fairly flat, and boards that are tight enough and strong enough to hold water. Then, of course, some freezing temperatures from nature.
Adriana Bair looks forward to walking out her back door and onto the rink.
“I think it’s going to help me because I can come out here and just practice,” said Bair, a freshman at Mounds View High School.
Adriana is a medal winning figure skater, a sport she’s been working on for ten years. But now in high school she’s ready to lace up some hockey skates. She hopes a backyard rink will help her get better, and she says ice time for hockey practice can sometimes be hard to find.
“They only had ice time where you couldn’t use your stick, so you just skated on,” she said. “I was like no. I wanted to do both and now I can just do it in my back yard.”
Taylor Rinta says the pandemic fueled many backyard rinks last year when youth hockey teams were shut down, but this year it’s even busier. It may come down to convenience.
“Older kids can go drive to their local hockey rink, but younger kids, their parents don’t have to bring them anywhere and just walk out in the backyard,” said Rinta.
Rinta says the cost of a small rink is about $3,000 the first year which includes materials. After that they will tear it down in the spring and store it until next winter. You can re-use the materials and just pay the labor and storage cost.