Chicago Blackhawks Announce Plans for Community Training Center
The Chicago Blackhawks are building a 125,000-sq.-ft. community training center for youth hockey development programs, recreational leagues and other events. The HOK-designed center will also serve as the practice facility for the Chicago Blackhawks and visiting National Hockey League teams.
“The state-of-the-art facility will be located two blocks south of the United Center on a 4-acre site currently housing Malcolm X College, which is expected to move into its own new building north of Jackson Boulevard in January 2016. The privately funded project will cost approximately $50 million and 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. In total, 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.’”
“HOK and McHugh Construction are working to finalize the design and engineering of the ice rink. Since opening in 1994, the United Center – a joint initiative owned by the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls – has invested over $180 million in construction costs for the stadium and over $100 million in area improvements.”
“The facility will offer special programs dedicated to serving youth in partnership with the Chicago Park District, open-skate ice times and community events, including hockey and figure skate rentals, ice rentals for adult and youth recreation leagues and local, national, international, collegiate and amateur tournament play. Chicago Blackhawks Charities (CBC) will oversee year-round youth programs and clinics at the training center, ensuring the project’s community benefits extend to those who would otherwise be unable to cover the costs of ice time, equipment and transportation.”