Answer Man: Lack of ice sent skating show to Rec Center
Dear Answer Man, I remember when my sister skated in Rochester Figure Skating Club shows each year, it was always held at Mayo Civic Auditorium. Now they’re at the Recreation Center. Why did they ever change the location? — Skating fan
You can’t have an ice show without ice, and that was the situation the skating club and Mayo Civic Auditorium faced in 1980 when the ice-making equipment at the old auditorium, which had been on the fritz for years, had a major meltdown.
Originally, the auditorium staff intended to end ice-making at the building in 1982, and the figure skating show was booked through that year. But the pipes underneath the floor carrying the brine for freezing the ice sprung a leak just a week before the 1980 show was to take place.
I remember well the frantic telephone calls that week, since my little sis was also in the club and had her costume all ready to go. The show was moved to the Recreation Center, which only had 700 seats. But organizers said the lighting and staging facilities were better than at the auditorium. The Rec Center was expanded to 2,500 seats a few years later, and the skating show has been there ever since.
By the way, Grandpappy Answer Man claims he once set a barrel-jumping record on the Civic Auditorium ice. Not sure if he was wearing skates at the time.