NHL practice facility, community ice center to be built at Northgate

    Artist's conception of the new NHL practice facility and community ice center. (Photo courtesy of NHL Seattle)

    SEATTLE - An NHL team training facility, team headquarters and community ice rinks will be built at Northgate if the hockey league proceeds with plans to expand into Seattle, officials said Monday.

    "If we are awarded an NHL franchise, creating a one-of-a-kind training facility that can serve as the home of hockey in the Pacific Northwest for youth and adult hockey, all within the city of Seattle, is critical and we've sought out this amazing opportunity at Northgate to meet our goal," said Tod Leiweke, CEO of NHL Seattle. "This facility is designed with three ice rinks that will allow us to serve our community and it will be one of the finest NHL training facilities ever built."

    Located on the east side of the Northgate property, the first phase of NHL Seattle development will total more than 180,000 square feet. The privately funded facility, estimated to be $70 million, will become an anchor tenant as part of Simon Property Group's redevelopment of a new mixed-use development complex at Northgate.

    “The real training, the real development of our team will happen here at Northgate,” says Lieweke.

    “They approached us as we were redeveloping and reimagining what Northgate could be,” says Mike McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer of Simon Malls. “And more and more we thought about it and the more and more we spent time with them and more we thought this is pretty exciting.”

    Conceptual designs for a “re-imagining” of the mall has recieved approval from the Community Design Board but that was without a training facility. McCarthy and Leiweke both say the addition of a training facility will not slow down the redevelopment of the mall.

    “This is the first time we've done a sports facility, so we are learning as we go, we think it could be really cool,” says McCarthy.

    The goal is to have the facility built by NHL Seattle's inaugural season slated to begin in 2020. That’s dependent on the NHL Board of Governors vote to approve a team in Seattle at its December meeting.

    Leiweke admits having a new arena and a new practice facility up and run October of 2020 is ambitious.

    “That's really ambitious, why not? We've had ambition and people have said that's probably not going to happen, and things have happened,” says Leiweke.

    Major highlights of the new training facility center, include:

    • Three NHL regulation ice rinks with spectator viewing locations and seating for 1,000 fans in the main rink and 400 in each of the two other rinks.
    • An NHL training facility that includes state-of-the-art locker rooms and strength and conditioning areas to recruit and retain top talent.
    • Offices for NHL Seattle hockey operations and administrative staff.
    • Restaurant, bar and retail space.
    • Partner space for ice sports rental, retail shop, locker rooms and hospitality areas.

    "Our goal is to provide access and opportunity to the game of hockey for children of all ages no matter their financial means. With no permanent ice rinks within the city of Seattle, we're excited that will change with this project in the near future," Leiweke said.

    In addition to NHL, community, adult and youth hockey, it will also become the host site for training camps, national tournaments, figure skating and training, public ice time and learn-to-skate programs.

    The design for the NHL Seattle Ice Centre is being submitted to the city of Seattle shortly, and will proceed through the city's land use and design review process.

    More information about the proposed facility can be found here ...

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