Build Them & They Will Come
Nine new rinks in the Bronx might just change everything about hockey in New York City.
In a typically dense, hilly section of the Bronx sits a hundred-year-old building spanning more than a few city blocks. The surrounding streets are narrow and bustling yet the magnificent brick structure looms quiet, empty for almost two decades.
It would appear all that is about to change in the coming years as the Kingsbridge Armory, reputedly the largest in the world, is set to become the largest indoor ice center in the world.
With Mr. Messier on board and investors lining up, including $4 million from Bauer, plans for the newly named Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) include a 5,000-seat arena and nine indoor ice rinks. Spawned by the realization that NYC is rink-deprived (duh), some well-connected hockey heads got together, did some research, concluded that more is better, and set off in search of a location.
Frustrated by what was available on the commercial market, they sat down with the City and boom, the concept found a home in the Bronx, where, if all goes according to plan, the new rinks will sit just steps from a subway stop and spitting distance from the Thruway, making it ideally accessible. No small thing in this city, where finding viable space for something the size of a rink (let alone nine) near both public transportation and major arteries is a monumental challenge.
From what these guys are telling us, the rinks are just the start.
Stay tuned. •EG