With 20,000 square metres of ice, Moscow's All-Russia Exhibition Centre (VDNKh) has the largest ice skating rink in Europe and its largest rink in its history.
This year's ice skating rink is 39 square metres more than the rink at the same site last year. Together with the surrounding infrastructure, the rink complex measures to a total of 68,300 square metres and can accommodate up to 5,000 skaters all at the same time, the center said on its website.
There will also be a children's ice skating rink that will measure up to 900 square metres.
The exhibition center is located between the Friendship of Peoples Fountain and the Stone Flower Fountain. If not a fan of skating, the exhibition centre also has open-air cafes and restaurants as well as several skate sharpening stations if ever anyone needs to sharpen their skates.
"It is not only the largest skating rink in Europe, it is also the largest outdoor artificial ice rink in the world because this year its surface is even bigger than it was last year. The ice surface is 20,549 square metres. I have managed to say that! This is an enormous ice surface located in Moscow city centre and is available for everyone," said VDNKh CEO Ekaterina Pronicheva said in Russian during the opening.
The outdoor winter ice skating rink is called "Russian Fun" and it opened with over 25,000 Muscovites witnessing a big ice show featuring Russia's prominent and Olympic ice skating champions including Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin as well as more than 150 actors and ice dancers.
The rink is also a celebration of Russia's first public ice-skating rink 150 years ago.
This winter's skating season will run November 27 up to March 27, 2016. More than 1.5 million attendees are expected this year.