The International Olympic Committee's loss is a huge win for the Great North's skaters. In 1983, Gov. Rudy Perpich convinced lawmakers to award state bonding money to build a multi-purpose outdoor skating facility that the IOC couldn't say no to. They did. A 400-meter loop surrounds an infield ice arena that's hosted World Bandy Championships and various international and national skating tournaments. But the Oval and its inner playground are always at their best for the locals. The infield can be divvied up into four hockey rinks, ensuring that hardcore speed skaters in training and novices just learning never suffer an interrupted stride. Options to get out on the ice range from bandy programs to public skating and open hockey, to speed skating clubs and figure skating lessons. It's a world-class facility right off Highway 36 that's family-affordable. Public skating and open hockey costs $5.50 per person and $4 for skate rentals.