Six months after the Blackhawks and city struck a deal to build a new practice facility right outside the United Center, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved the plan, the team announced Wednesday. The Chicago Zoning Committee unanimously approved it on Tuesday, and was previously given the green light by the Plan Commission in January.
“The Blackhawks are excited not only for what this new facility will do for our franchise but for the benefits it will bring to the community at large,” said Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough via the team's press release. “We are grateful for the support of Mayor Emanuel, Alderman Burnett, and the entire city leadership team, all of whom have been instrumental throughout the approval process.”
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The 127,000 square-foot community training center will feature two NHL-sized rinks, with 94 percent of the operations to be used by the community, including young adult, youth and community programs. It will also serve as the permanent practice home for the Blackhawks, who have used Johnny's IceHouse West as their practice home since 2010.
“The Blackhawks are excited to make this investment in our community and we are committed providing the next generation of hockey fans with a place to learn the game we all love so much,” Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said.
The new facility is expected to open in the fall of 2018.