The Chicago Blackhawks are going to build a massive new hockey complex near the United Center, and on Wednesday the team held the ground-breaking ceremony for the 125,000 square-foot facility.
The rink, which will be built on the former campus of Malcolm X College, will house Blackhawks practices and visiting NHL teams, but it will also host youth hockey events, recreational leagues, and other hockey-related events as the team tries to make a bigger hockey footprint in the city.
The event on Wednesday will feature several representatives from the organization, including team owner Rocky Wirtz, President and CEO John McDonough, and former Blackhawks center Jamal Mayers. Chicago Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward) will also take part in the ground-breaking ceremony.
“Hockey’s future is dictated by the ability of kids to get on the ice,” Wirtz said when the rink was announced. “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.”
According to the Blackhawks, the facility will feature two NHL-sized rinks, seating for spectators, and a dedicated parking lot for those using the facility.
Here’s more from the team’s release:
“Chicago Blackhawks Charities will oversee year-round youth programs and clinics at the facility, ensuring the project’s community benefits extend to those who would otherwise be unable to cover the costs of ice time, equipment, and transportation. There will be special youth programming in partnership with the Chicago Park District, such as open-skate times and community events, hockey and figure skate rentals and ice rentals for adults and youth recreational leagues.”