Oct. 14, 2013 at 10:26 AM ET
The Rink at Rockefeller Center, which opened for its 77th season on Monday, wasn’t even supposed to last more than a year.
Now an iconic feature at the plaza that attracts tourists from all over the world, the ice skating rink was created in 1936 as a temporary attraction. The area was then known as the Sunken Plaza and was filled with high-end shops and restaurants, but the owners had a hard time enticing people to walk down the stairs from the lush Channel Gardens. In an effort to get more people to visit the plaza, an engineer from Cleveland was hired to build a temporary rink, and it ended up becoming a permanent fixture.
The skating surface is 122 feet long and 59 feet wide and can accommodate 150 skaters at a time. On Monday, TODAY’s Natalie Morales took a spin on the ice with two-time Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko to celebrate opening day.