A rumored new Palm Springs arena for an AHL team and live music is now a reality, as Oak View Group (OVG) and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians announced plans for a privately financed venue on downtown tribal land.
Also signed on as a strategic partner: Live Nation Entertainment, which will supply the new arena with live events. The arena will be built for conventions, large meetings, international events, as well as award shows and exhibitions.
NHL Seattle, led by owner David Bonderman, and OVG have jointly submitted an application for a 32nd AHL franchise expansion team, which, if awarded, would play in the new arena in Palm Springs for the fall of 2021.
Located on 16 acres of tribal land, the arena will be more than 300,000 square feet and feature as many as 10,000 seats or more and include modern amenities such as suites and premium hospitality clubs. The arena will include an adjoining facility that will serve as a year-round community gathering space as well as the training center for an AHL team.
“This is a unique partnership that will forever change the face of sports and entertainment in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley,” Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said via press release. “We are creating a healthy community gathering place for Coachella Valley families and visitors from around the world to celebrate, play and experience diverse entertainment opportunities in a state-of-the-art arena.”
This project is part of the Tribe’s Agua Caliente Cultural Center in downtown Palm Springs, which features a new museum and world-class spa opening in 2020.
In the past 24 months, OVG has announced the development of venues in Seattle, Belmont Park in Elmont New York, the University of Texas in Austin, the new Winter Olympic 2026 venue in Milan, and now Palm Springs.
Groundbreaking and construction are scheduled for February 2020. The arena is expected to open by fall 2021 in coordination with the Seattle NHL franchise for the 2021-2022 AHL season.
Oak View Group is currently leading and financing a $900 million-plus project at Seattle’s KeyArena that, when completed in 2021, will be home to Seattle’s NHL team.
“With each venue, we’ve had the privilege of building and managing, Oak View Group has consistently continued to raise the industry standard, and the arena in Palm Springs will be no exception,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “We look forward to working with Agua Caliente to build what we consider to be one of the most premiere music and professional sports arenas in the world.”
“The new arena in downtown Palm Springs is a terrific project. If we are successful with our application for an AHL Franchise, it would represent an exciting opportunity to bring the first professional hockey team to this region,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of NHL Seattle. “We are confident that the market is ready to embrace a winter sports team and that the community will help us achieve the minimum level of season tickets and premium sales we need.”
“We’re pleased to be able to partner with Oak View Group and Agua Caliente for this new state-of-the-art arena and look forward to bringing in top touring artists and live events to the valley for years to come,” said Bob Roux, President, US Concerts, Live Nation Entertainment.
RELATED STORIES: New Palm Springs Arena Reportedly in the Works; 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