Petition to Bring Back Chicago Beach Hockey Gains Steam

Earlier today I was browsing one of my favorite groups GGSU on Facebook when I came across a post that made me pause and read. It was a link to a petition to bring back a hockey rink on the Lake Michigan shoreline on the north side of Chicago.

The rink closed at the end of the 2013 season when longtime operator North Avenue Beach Sports and the Chicago Park District couldn’t come to terms on a contract renewal for 2014. According to an article from a year ago on DNAInfo, the Park District were accepting bids from companies wanting to operate at the beach. But standing vacant was the end result in 2014 according to petition organizer and Beach Hockey Activist Eric Ziegler. The description of the petition is as follows:

Our battle to bring Roller Hockey back to North Ave Beach has reached Sudden Death Overtime. We are at a critical point and need our collective voices heard to bring victory. Let’s rally together and get this done!

Losing the rink last year was devastating to what has become our right of passage. To witness our space sit empty in 2014 was especially disheartening. To have this happen again or filled with another venture would just be so terribly wrong.

We should be afforded the same right to play, compete, and grow friendships as the many other Chicago Park District Sports/Activities. Space and facilities are created for soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball, skate parks, dog parks, rock climbing and much more.

Your response to my inquiry on teams has been overwhelming. We currently have 32 teams and that number will certainly grow once we receive final approval to play.

We need everybody and more to make sure our voice is heard.

43rd Ward Alderman Michelle Smith supports the return of North Avenue Beach Hockey.

Alderman Smith has made it clear to me that she does not want an empty space or some other entity in the spot that has been home of Roller Hockey for over 20 years.

Ziegler’s call to action includes contacting Alderman Michelle Smith and Chicago Park District CEO Michael Kelly in addition to signing the petition. He also urges people to post their comments, memories, and photos on social media with the hashtag #BringBackBeachHockey on social media.

Zigler started the petition midday Friday and as of Friday night it has 483 signatures. If you are interested in signing, check out the page at You can also find contact information for Smith and Kelly there as well.

If you’re in your late-20’s or older, you probably remember Pro Beach Hockey that was on ESPN2 in the mid to late 1990’s. Here is a video posted to YouTube six years ago of youth hockey players playing on the North Avenue Beach rink.

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