Mexicans Chill on Free Rink

Populist mayor gives city residents world's biggest ice rink
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 5:20 AM CST
Mexicans Chill on Free Rink
People ice skate on a rink installed in Mexico City's main Zocalo Plaza, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. The rink, designed to withstand Mexico City's warm climate, opened Saturday night to curious onlookers as part of Mayor Marcelo Ebrard's Christmas celebration plans. (AP Photo/ Eduardo Verdugo)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – People in sun-drenched Mexico City are waiting as long as six hours for the thrilling opportunity to skate on what officials say is the world's biggest ice rink—at no charge, the Washington Post reports. The free 34,000-square-foot rink—with free skate rental—highlights the class divide in Mexico, where it would cost 40% of the nation's residents a day's pay to rent skates at a private rink.

The $1.5 million project, financed with private donations, was the brainchild of the city's populist mayor. The rink doesn't get a warm reception from everyone. "There are places outside the city that don't even have running water, and down there they've got this fancy block of frozen ice," a taxi driver griped. "There's something wrong with this." (Read more Mexico City stories.)

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