The Washington Business Journal reported on Monday that plans to construct a new hockey mega-center in Loudoun County, Virginia have been “Green lit”. The state-of-the-art facility will quickly become one of the best in the country, so, the obvious question, Are the Capitals at all interested?
“The 85,000-square-foot, $19.5 million ION International Training Center will initially feature two ice sheets — one National Hockey League size and the other Olympic figure skating size. The two-story building also will include a full-service gym, cafe, pro shop, medical room and hockey training room, among other amenities.”
The NHL-sized rink’s will be encircled by 4,200 seats, ideal for a pro franchise practice facility. But are the Capitals at all interested? So far there has been no direct comment from the team.
Last week Ted Leonsis stated in an interview with the Washington Post, that although downtown is an ideal location for the next game facility, he was open to researching other options, including suburban Northern Virginia and Maryland. Leonsis stated:
“My inclination right now would be — it’s pretty awesome where we are,” Leonsis said Wednesday, the morning of the Wizards’ 2016-17 home opener. “And I love what’s happened to [downtown] D.C. But I don’t know what’s going to happen five, six, seven years from now. . . . I will be a free agent. I mean, that hasn’t been lost on me.”
One cornerstone for any top-tier NHL franchise is a state-of-the-art headquarters and practice facility. Skating facilities of the caliber being built in Loudoun County are not common, and will likely be at least a future consideration for Leonsis.
The dots are easy to connect, but at this point, that’s all they are, data points on the horizon.
By Jon Sorensen