Friday, December 07, 2007

Massive Mexico City Ice Rink Takes Some Heat

First it was imported beaches, now it's three large ice rinks. In Mexico City's historic center and the world's second largest city square, El Zócalo, you will find a rink boasting 3,000 square meters of ice. The local government spent over $1,000,000 (US) on this rink alone. One of the American contractors that installed the rink explained that 10 large chillers keep the ice cool, 8 of which the Mexico City government purchased. The company also brought in two Zamboni's to keep the ice nice and neat.

Although thousands turned out for the fireworks and laser light show that inaugurated the rink, not everyone is happy with the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the luxury. In a survey conducted by one of Mexico City's newspapers, El Universal, 60% of the capital city residents oppose the rink, in contrast to only 30% in favor of it.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, like most Mexico City mayors, has his eyes set on the presidency. But his summer beaches and ice rinks may not gain him the popularity he had hoped in a city where millions of people live on less than $5 a day.

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