Progress continues to be made on the construction of a new Chicago Blackhawks training center, as the team anticipates that the facility will be ready in November.
The $60 million project–which is being privately financed–calls for the construction of a 125,000 square foot structure that will include training space for the Blackhawks, along with numerous facilities that will be available to the team and the public. Currently, the Blackhawks are saying that the training center will come on budget, and will open on November 15, ahead of the previously-anticipated opening of December.
While the opening of the facility will give the Blackhawks modern training space that is separate from their home arena–the United Center–team officials are also hoping that the facility can contribute to Chicago’s hockey scene beyond the professional level. More from The Chicago Tribune:
Hawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz footed the bill for the arena and had a two-fold plan: Give Hawks players and coaches everything they could possibly want — and more — from a practice rink and also allow the youth of Chicago — many of whom are without access to ice — to experience the sport and come to embrace it.
“It’s really a community ice rink that the Hawks are going to happen to practice in, instead of the other way around,” Wirtz said as he toured the facility Wednesday morning.
Wirtz opted to go big, eschewing the idea of a practice facility adjacent to the United Center that would have one sheet of ice just for his hockey team to one that has two full sheets of ice, 22 locker rooms, training, educational and medical facilities along with a restaurant, juice and coffee bars, spectator viewing areas that will seat 277 at each sheet, among other amenities.
“If you have unconditional commitment to winning on the ice you have to have unconditional commitment to winning off the ice and this is what came of that,” Wirtz said.
The facility will be located two blocks south of the United Center.
Rendering courtesy Chicago Blackhawks.