The Chicago Blackhawks announced Thursday they will build a 125,000-square-foot community training center for youth hockey development programs, recreational leagues and other events.
The training center, which will also serve as the practice facility for the Blackhawks and visiting NHL teams, will be located two blocks south of United Center. It is being designed to contain two NHL regulation-size ice rinks, spectator seating and a dedicated oasis parking lot to serve facility guests and buses.
Approximately 94 percent of the proposed facility's utilization will serve the surrounding community, including young adult, youth and community programs that may not have the means to play otherwise.
"Hockey's future is dictated by the ability of kids to get on the ice," Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said. "For those in urban areas like Chicago, that's an incredible challenge. We want to provide our community the opportunity to learn how to skate and help them develop a love and passion for the sport that has brought so much joy to Chicago and the region these past few years."
The Blackhawks have partnerships with 56 hockey rinks in Illinois, but four exist within the city of Chicago.
"The addition of a Blackhawks training and community facility is another step in the progress and advancement of our franchise as we continue to strive for consistent excellence both on and off the ice," Blackhawks president John McDonough said.