The Nashville Predators and Metro Nashville broke ground on the brand new recreation center and ice rink development last week at Global Mall at the Crossings in Antioch, Tenn.
The rink development is an element of a public-private partnership between the Nashville Predators and Metro that will help continue growth of hockey in Middle Tennessee. This rink will aid in generating new fans, ensuring more and more children are putting a hockey stick in their hands at an early age. It will also be a contributor to economic development in southeastern Davidson County.
“I think the biggest thing here was two areas,” said Terry Crisp, a worker on the project. “We needed more ice services for the kids here to grow and learn about the sport of hockey—and I think they felt that this was a great location that was available and has a future to it.”
Mayor Karl Dean and representatives from the Nashville Predators were present. The 86,000 square-foot hockey center will also serve as a practice facility for the Predators. The Predators organization will monitor and maintain the rink, which will be accessible for community use and to help increase youth hockey programs.
The $14-million hockey center will be two stories and will include two multi-purpose ice rinks, team rooms, meeting rooms and an observation mezzanine. There will be space for concessions, as well as an ice skate rental and repair center. A covered walkway will connect it to the library and community center.
“I think it’s great because you’ve got one rink out in Franklin and one downtown so this is like an area in the middle of the city,” Duane Duke, a fan of the Predators said. “I know it’s hard to get ice time especially for the little ones to go over and practice. I think this would get people more interested in hockey too.”
The city also plans to construct a new library branch and state-of-the-art fitness center next to the hockey facility.
The complete project is scheduled to be open in the fall of 2014.