It's an unusual bit of attention for the east side of the park, oft overshadowed by its western counterpart. But funding issues have delayed the project, whose cost rose $25 million since the original proposal. The park has so far secured $65.5 million of the necessary funding, and hope to raise more by selling naming rights to the rink. (Barclays Skating?!)
The new rinks were slated to open in January 2013, before other aspects of the project, but that would have cost almost half a million dollars more. So everything is now planned to open in the fall of that year, which means the 2012-2013 winter will be the third consecutive one in which there was no ice skating in Prospect Park (for which my tailbone is grateful).
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