Skate park opens, attracting hundreds - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Skate park opens, attracting hundreds

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By: Kayla Bremer

Lincoln is now host to a brand new indoor skate park, giving kids not only a chance to skateboard, but also a place to reach out for help.

Opening the doors of The Bay has been a long time coming for skateboarders in the state.  Kids from all over the region came to Lincoln to test out the new ramps and rails for the grand opening.

"It's just fun, really fun," 6-year-old local skateboarder Mason Roach said.

The 32–hour non–stop skating event kicked off Friday night.

"The skate park is really amazing," Dylan Lemere said.  "It's huge and there's so much, like infinity things to do...idea's are endless."

The non-profit's new facility took six months to build, but skaters and founder Mike Smith say the turn out was well worth the wait.

"We had over 300 kids come in the first three hours to just skate and they've come from, we had kids come from Minnesota, have come from all over to be a part of this," Smith said.

The new 28,000 square foot space isn't only a safe area for kids to skate, but also a place to get help with everyday issues.

"It's all about relationships," Smith said.  "If you can build relationships with kids, they're going to open up about what's really going on and what some of their struggles are and so that's what we're really looking towards is creating those positive relationships."

A second phase of construction will include an art gallery, coffee shop and concert venue.

The Bay is also the headquarters for a non-profit called "Skate for Change" which provides the homeless with food, water, toothbrushes, and clean socks.

The skate park will be open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights to give skaters an alternative to riding in the streets.

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