It will include two rinks and also serve as a community ice center.
With the college moving into a new building just to the north in January, the city is clearing way for the Stanley Cup champion Hawks to divvy up the Malcolm X site, 1900 W. Van Buren St., with Rush University Medical Center. It also would serve as a community rink to interest more kids in hockey.
The Blackhawks’ current practice facility is Johnny’s IceHouse which is about one mile west of the United Center.
“Hockey’s future is dictated by the ability of kids to get on the ice”, Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement.
Wirtz called it “the biggest hockey event” next to the Olympics. Wirtz said last month that this new facility will be mostly used by the community.
According to the Hawks, the team has partnerships with 56 hockey rinks throughout the state, but only four are within the city. The mayor’s office released renderings of what the practice space and community ice center will look like when it’s finished. The site, which is located just south of the United Center, was chosen after Malcolm X College announced plans to move to a new campus next year. Since its inception in October 1993, Chicago Blackhawks Charities has contributed over $14 million to local non-profit organizations, including over $2 million over the past year to 28 community organizations that focus on health and wellness, education and housing. “We’re thrilled to make this investment in our community and give more kids the opportunity to learn to skate and play this great game”.
“Kids can’t learn to skate if there is not any ice”, Wirtz said.