Do you want to start a skating rink and you want to know the cost? If YES, here is an estimated cost breakdown to build and open an ice hockey skating rink. The ideal client for an ice skating rink is a sports league such as a hockey, figure skating, speed skating or curling league. This league will need to rent ice time for multiple practices and games, which will provide a stable income for the season. Several players may rent additional ice time for individual training.

According to reports, an ice skating rink generates income by charging customers to use the business’ ice rink(s). Note that most rinks in the United States also offer a combination of open skating, in which the public is welcome to skate for an admission fee, and ice time rental, in which teams and organizations pay in advance to rent an ice rink.

How Do Ice Hockey Skating Rinks Make Money

Ice skating rinks more or less charge around $10 per person for an open skate, and many rinks charge an additional fee for renting ice skates if the customers didn’t bring their own. These businesses frequently charge over $100 per hour for renting an ice rink.

For instance, the Oakland Ice Centre places a $10.50 fee per adult for open skating. Total Hockey Minnesota tasks about $165 per hour of ice time for rentals during peak hours, and $140 per hour during off-peak hours. Ice skating rinks in the United States can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, but much of their revenue goes towards operating expenses.

Many ice rinks aren’t profitable unless they’re debt free, which is why municipalities often run or subsidize rinks. But these skating rinks can grow their revenue by offering concessions, leagues and clinics. They may also offer events like birthday parties.

When starting an ice skating rink, be sure to select the right location as this will entail how profitable you get and the crowd you attract. In general, experts’ advice a rink should have 100,000 people within a 5 – mile radius and 250,000 people within a 10-mile radius – and there shouldn’t be any other rinks in the area.

Estimated Cost for Building an Ice Hockey Skating Rink

The startup costs involved in opening an ice skating rink is high. It can run into hundreds of thousands. Aside from acquiring a big enough building or lot of land for it, you also have the pipes, dehumidifiers, and all the other equipment to buy.

You would need pipes running the breadth of the rink about every 500mm or so to keep the ice solid. It will need to be running the whole time so basically the cost of hundreds of normal sized freezers. The ongoing expenses for an ice skating rinks are also quite high. Ice rinks must pay for electricity, which is used to keep the ice cool, other utilities, maintenance and staffing.

In some cases, the ongoing expenses are partially paid for by a municipality so that an ice skating rink is financially feasible. According to a specific report, the startup cost of an ice hockey skating rink in the United States is about $2.5 million. These expenses are broken down as follows:

  • Cost for construction (e.g. foundation, walls, roofing, etc.): $1.34 million
  • Cost for mechanical and electrical works (e.g. plumbing, heating, electricity, etc.): $523,000
  • Cost for site finishing (e.g. landscaping, external fittings, etc.): $109,000
  • Cost of equipment (e.g. an ice resurface, dehumidifier, a scoreboard, etc.): $180,000
  • Cost of design and project management (including salaries of project managers): $255,000
  • Project development costs: $215,000

Although it may be tempting to reduce an ice rink business’ startup expenses by making concessions on construction or technology costs, properly constructing a rink and using high-quality technology will ultimately keep ongoing expenses affordable. Note that reducing these upfront expenses can lead to prohibitively expensive ongoing costs because the ice will require more energy to be kept in proper condition.


Note that most ice skating rinks in the United States have one or two locations that serve a particular city or area. A single location can have more than one rink. Nonetheless, an ice skating rink requires a team of employees and subcontractors.

People are needed from the outset to welcome skaters, maintain the ice and repair any malfunctioning equipment. A rink may also want to work with coaches and referees to set up its own sports leagues and offer specialized clinics.

Joy Nwokoro