A new Palm Springs arena is reportedly is being discussed, with the venue planned for a Seattle-affiliated AHL squad and concerts.
A Seattle NHL expansion franchise is slated to begin play in the 2021-22 season, and the organization has been exploring its options for launching a minor-league AHL squad in that same season. Palm Springs and Boise have been reported to top two candidates for the location of the AHL team, and a plan is apparently in the works to build a new arena in Palm Springs.
An effort backed by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff calls for the construction of a new arena to primarily host minor-league hockey and concerts, with concert promoter Live Nation also reportedly involved in the effort. For now, there are still several unknowns, including the site of the potential arena. More from NBC Palm Springs:
For the past several weeks, rumors of a minor league hockey team coming to Palm Springs has been circulating around the Coachella Valley. NBC Palm Springs has learned that the group behind the proposed hockey and music venue include Canadian sports mogul Tim Leiweke, as well as Irving Azoff, Chairman of Madison Square Garden Company.
According to hockey insiders, a minor league hockey team would come to Palm Springs as part of the NHL’s expansion into Seattle. Two factors are still under consideration, one is a minimum season ticket sales requirement. The other, Boise, Idaho wants the team too.
At the NHL awards last night in Las Vegas, NBC Palm Springs spoke to several NHL Executives, many of whom confirm the rumor of a hockey venue coming to Palm Springs.
What we’ve also learned is that the venue in Palm Springs would be for hockey and concerts. Concert promoters Live Nation are also said to be involved in the project. In a conversation Thursday afternoon, one of the principles said it is, “a very good rumor” that concert promoters Live Nation is attached to the proposal.
Leiweke is the CEO of Oak View Group, the firm leading and financing a $900 million-plus project at Seattle’s KeyArena that, when completed in 2021, will result in a home for Seattle’s NHL squad. His brother Tod Leiweke is serving as CEO of the Seattle NHL organization.
While no final decisions have been made yet regarding the location of the AHL team, Palm Springs does not have an existing venue that is adequate for the AHL, so building a new arena there would address that issue. Boise, by comparison, features CenturyLink Arena, which is currently home to hockey’s Idaho Steelheads (ECHL).
RELATED STORIES: Seattle AHL Affiliate Location Narrowed to Boise, Palm Springs; Seattle AHL Affiliate Would Carry Major Implications; Idaho Steelheaders as Seattle AHL Affiliate?; Seattle AHL Affiliate Expected for 2021-22 Season