Seattle NHL team breaks ground on practice facility

SEATTLE — The foundation for Seattle’s future NHL franchise continued to take shape Thursday as the team broke ground on its practice facility just a few miles from the arena it will call home.

The team’s practice facility, which will eventually house three full ice sheets, and its headquarters are the centerpiece of a larger redevelopment project on the site of a former mall.

Seattle President and CEO Tod Lewieke said the practice facility is on a similar timeline as the team’s arena, which is being constructed on the Seattle Center campus. Leiweke said the goal is to have the practice facility open in the summer of 2021 in the hope of holding the club’s first rookie camp and training camp there.

The facility will house the only ice hockey rinks inside the Seattle city limits.

“There were some days I wondered, could we have gone to an existing rink, build locker room space, put up some paint and banners and checked the box? I’ve done that in a prior life,” Leiweke said. “Here we said it’s really a shortcut because how could you be playing in a city with no sheets of ice? The city of Seattle did not have a sheet of ice. Now they’re going to have four —- one at the big house and three here. It gives us a chance to grow the sport. It gives us a chance to make a statement to players and so it’s the right thing to do.”

While primarily serving as the practice facility for the yet-to-be-named team, Seattle intends to make all three rinks open for public use and hopes it can become a destination for hockey and figure skating events in the Pacific Northwest. The main rink will have seating for 1,000 spectators with the other two each able to hold up to 400. The facility will be 180,000 square feet.

“For our players to be in the heart of the city, for our players to be 10 minutes away it makes a huge difference,” Lewieke said. “It was a scary thing initially and we knew we had to solve it, and it’s worked out fantastically.”

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

People also read these

Venus focused on tennis, not age, in record 73rd...

Jan 20, 2017

One could never accuse Venus Williams of being sensitive about her age

Matthew Dellavedova, tennis player? Nope, it's...

Jan 22, 2017

Basketball fans may have done a double take upon seeing the Australian Open schedule on Sunday:...

The rules of engagement: Williams reaches QFs,...

Jan 23, 2017

After a 7-5, 6-4 fourth-round win over No. 16-seeded Barbora Strycova, her toughest match to date...

Confident Vandeweghe on strong run at Australian...

Jan 24, 2017

On the court, CoCo Vandeweghe is all bluster and bravado, an all-or-nothing ball striker with a...

The Latest: Nadal beats Raonic, returns Grand...

Jan 25, 2017

Rafael Nadal has beaten Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-4 to reach the Australian Open semifinals,...

Get your 24-hour live updates here in Ultimate Sports Daily. We deliver content from all regions so that you won’t miss out on any single event.

Contact us: sales[at]ultimatesportsdaily.com