ice rink construction cost

How Much Does It Cost to Build an Ice Rink?

Ice rinks are getting immensely popular for games like ice skating, hockey, figure skating and curling. They are built on large spaces with seating capacity for the spectators, while those built for practices might not need seating capacity. 

Considering how much it costs to build an ice rink, you need to consider a few factors. Like the audience you want to target, the purpose of building a rink and the size of the rink you wish. With these questions, getting an estimated material cost for a startup would be easier.

In this article, I will tell you different aspects of ice rinks and the cost required to build them so you have a rough idea for your ice rinks startup.

Natural vs. Synthetic Ice Rinks

Not all ice in the rinks is natural, frozen using water. Usually, that ice is synthetic, so one thing is evident: there are two ice rink types. Before going for the cost, you must decide which kind of rink you want to have and get an idea for your rink dimensions.

Natural Ice Rinks

Natural ice rinks are traditional and provide a more natural feeling, like playing sports on a frozen lake. It is more environmentally friendly with a small carbon footprint. The cost of natural ice rinks is more because the refrigeration process is a lot more expensive.

The rinks with natural ice cost around $150,000 – $950,000. The natural rinks work better where natural weather conditions are below freezing point; it costs less to maintain them that way. 

Synthetic Ice Rink

These day rinks made for professional leagues, practice arenas, colleges and other gaming institutes usually use synthetic ice rinks. They require less budget and are easy to maintain at any temperature since they are maintained manually to be used throughout the year.

They are more consistent and provide a perfectly smooth surface according to the need of the sport. The rinks with synthetic ice cost around $14,000 – $395,000, depending on the synthetic quality of the ice used. Synthetic rinks are easily customizable according to the budget, gaming requirements and the season.

how much does it cost to build an ice rink

Breaking Down Cost for Ice Rink

Once you have decided on what type of rink you want to build and for what purpose, it comes to other cost factors. These factors are similar for any rink type. 

The cost required to build an ice rink ranges from $1 million to $3 million or even more if you keep adding the amenities. Let’s see the other factors and their budget cutoff you need to set apart.

Site Preparation and Construction 

First, you need to look for a site where you are interested in building the ice rink. Ice rinks can be built indoors and outdoors depending on the demand from people and weather conditions in that area. You need around 40-60% of your budget for this purpose.Additionally you may have a set up to keep your ice rink stay frozen.

How Much Does It Cost to Build an Outdoor Ice Rink? 

It depends on the weather of the locality. If the outdoor weather is hot most of the year, you must spend 60% of your budget on the refrigeration system. Remember air conditioning or fan installation in the seating area. 

Building an outdoor ice rink would be less expensive if the temperature is freezing for most of the year. 

How Much Does It Cost to Build an Indoor Ice Rink?

Indoor ice rinks are safer from external environmental hazards. However, the cost difference is slight because you still need a more significant sum to keep it cool. So, the cost difference is only 10-20% more than outdoor ice rinks.

Amenities and Refrigeration

You are moving forward to the amenities and ice rink refrigeration system cost. You must spend $3,000 – $60,000 to buy an ice rink refrigeration machine to keep it frozen. The cost of amenities depends on the seating capacity, rooms and lockers you wish to build. It would require 20-30% of the budget.

Permits and Regulation

To start any business, you need permits and licenses from state authorities—reserve 5-10% of your total budget. However, you have to spend the amount initially as a one-time process.

Miscellaneous Costs

The breakdown discussed above is for the cliché things and structure setup for opening an ice rink. However, unseen scenarios, such as labor cost fluctuation and material prices, can occur during the process. So, you need to have 5% of the total amount set aside to cater to these unforeseen situations.

AspectLow Estimate ($)High Estimate ($)
Ice Rink including board system$90,000$550,000
Transport and construction of the ice rink$4,500$14,700
Operating costs for water and electricity$2,500$7,500
Ice Rink Refrigeration Machine$3,000$60,000
Rink Cleaning/Maintenance Machine$10,000$250,000
Total Cost$110,000$882,200

How Much Does it Cost To Buy an Ice Rink?

If you do not want to establish an ice rink from zero, you can buy an already-built one. The cost depends on the area and customer turnout to the rink. However, according to an estimation buying an ice rink in 2023 can cost you around $5,000 to $50,000 without the space and accessories.

If you wish for an entire ice rink arena, you must search in the market because the price depends on the area, type of rink, seating capacity, land cost, and other construction technologies.  Maintain your ice rink to reduce its construction and repair cost.


Rolling up an article on how much it costs to build an ice rink, you are aware that a specific factor influences the cost of construction. Synthetic ice rinks are relatively less expensive than natural ice rinks. Consider factors like space, refrigeration system, amenities, facilities and licensing while venturing into building an ice rink.

What kind of ice rinks are preferable, indoor or outdoor?


Ice rinks are a profitable business due to the love of people for ice sports. Ice rinks generate hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly; they charge from $10-100 per person for an hour of skating. 

The cost depends on the rink structure you want; on a smaller level, the cost might start from $1000 and reach up to $25,000, costing around $0.50 to $3.50 per square foot.

The cost depends on the rink and how frequently it is used. The standard-sized rinks built for recreational purposes take about half a million to run correctly with all facilities yearly. 

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