PORTLAND – To Josh Goodman, a Saturday morning ride from Auburn wasn’t too much of a price to pay to check out Portland’s new skatepark.

The concrete structure — featuring enough steps, rails and rollers to entice the most ardent X Games wannabe — drew Goodman and about 40 other bikers and boarders on its opening day Saturday at Dougherty Field on St. James Street.

“I heard about this and thought I’d check it out,” said Goodman, 17, waiting for a few bikers to clear out for another run through the skate dish and the quarter pipe.

“A lot of things are pretty unique,” he said. “It’s different than a lot of things you’d see at other skateparks.”

City funding and private donations underwrote the $250,000 facility, which sits in a low section of the field near a couple of baseball diamonds. It replaces a skatepark with wooden structures that stood in a parking lot on Marginal Way until it began to fall apart and was closed for safety reasons five years ago.

Sally DeLuca, the city’s director of recreation, stood by wearing “the biggest smile around” Saturday, satisfied that the park was finally open.

She said the skatepark, built by Hardcore Shotcrete Skateparks Inc., has been a city goal for years and provides a place for boarders and bikers to practice — and show off — their skills away from city streets and sidewalks and the accompanying cars and pedestrians.

Kyle Hill, 12, and his father, Kenneth Hill, came from Shapleigh to take a few rides on the state’s newest skatepark.

“We travel all over Maine to check out all the skateparks,” Kyle said.

Kenneth Hill said he and his son were following the progress of the skatepark online and knew it was going to open Saturday, so they made sure they were among the first to arrive.

City spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the skatepark is the first step toward revitalizing the park, a wedge of green between some light-industrial uses and homes not far from Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs.

She said the city has allocated some money to spruce up some of the ballfields in the park and make other improvements.

The skateboarders and bikers weren’t deterred by Saturday’s chilly temperatures and biting wind, and DeLuca said she doesn’t expect the new skatepark to sit unused for most of the winter, even when the snow starts to fly.

“The kids have already told me they’d like shovels,” she said.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]