Northwestern University: Ice skating in all seasons at the new Robert Crown Center

Northwestern community members who enjoy ice skating, participate in ice sports or want to learn are encouraged to visit the glistening ice rinks at Evanston’s new Robert Crown Center (1801 Main St.), free of charge.

Students, faculty and staff have access to the rinks and free skate rental during open skating hours as part of a $1 million investment by the University to support the Robert Crown Center’s long-term viability. Up to three guests will be granted admission and free skate rental with a Northwestern Wildcard. This partnership gives Northwestern community members a chance to be part of the larger Evanston community.

“We are so excited about the opportunity for our faculty, students and staff to enjoy this wonderful venue so aptly labeled the ‘crown jewel’ of Evanston,” said Dave Davis, executive director of Northwestern’s Neighborhood and Community Relations, whose office worked out the details of the new partnership.

Another exciting benefit of this partnership is the community skate events sponsored by Northwestern. During these events, all Evanston residents are invited to skate for free, meet University representatives and receive Northwestern swag while supplies last. Northwestern’s men’s hockey and synchronized skating teams will also use the rinks for practice and competitive events.

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I believe that communities root themselves in public spaces.”

Dave Davis
Executive director of Northwestern’s Neighborhood and Community Relations
As the University’s primary liaison to the Evanston community, Davis works to build new connections between Northwestern and the Evanston community and strengthen existing ones.

“I can’t wait to skate, reconnect with old friends and meet new ones as we foster a sense of community and form bonds between Northwestern faculty, staff and students and Evanston residents,” Davis said. “Not only will members of our academic community be able to take advantage of world-class skating rinks and amenities, but the community skate events will also provide opportunities for Northwestern community members to connect with our neighbors.”

In the wake of the pandemic and winter approaching with conditions less favorable for the outdoor gatherings now preferred by many, the Robert Crown Center holds a special promise.

“I believe that communities root themselves in public spaces, and this partnership allows us to rebuild the sense of connection we so crave after being forced to physically distance for long periods early in the pandemic,” Davis said.

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