SPORTS

Smith Entertainment Group announces location of Utah’s NHL practice facility

May 6, 2024, 9:00 AM | Updated: 11:06 am

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Ice-Rink-Delta-Center

SALT LAKE CITY – Smith Entertainment Group announced the location for the practice facility of Utah’s National Hockey League team less than a month after acquiring the franchise.

Utah’s NHL practice facility announced

On Monday, May 6, the ownership group of NHL‘s team revealed the location on which a practice facility with multiple ice rinks would be built.

SEG announced it has placed The Shops at South Town in Sandy “under contract” to be the site of Utah’s permanent NHL practice facility.

The practice facility is slated for completion before the 2025-26 NHL season.

“SEG’s plans include building a state-of-the-art NHL practice and training facility on the 111 acre site at The Shops at South Town. SEG will release more details about construction plans and the facility’s layout and configuration at a later date,” Smith Entertainment Group shared in a statement. “The practice facility will include a minimum of two NHL-regulation ice surfaces for the team, as well as a best-in-class locker room, training, recovery and medical spaces, and a commercial kitchen. The building will also serve as the team’s official offices.”

In order to create a “state-of-the-art” facility, SEG will look at what has been done with recent expansion franchises like the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken.

“SEG will be looking at some of the newest, facilities around, like Vegas and Seattle, and implementing the best practices into their new facility,” according to KSL Sports’ Jay Stevens who spoke with a source close to the situation. “I also wouldn’t say that having a smaller three-on-three rink is out of the picture for this facility.”

In addition to serving as the practice facility for Utah’s NHL team, the complex “will also serve as a home to community hockey programming with ice time available for youth and amateur hockey and recreation programs.”

“The city of Sandy could not be more excited to become the home to the new NHL team’s long-term practice facility,” Sandy mayor Monica Zoltanski said in a statement. “We have worked collaboratively with Smith Entertainment Group for many years and are excited about their expanding presence in our community with one of the world’s premier hockey training facilities in our city.”

As part of the announcement, SEG said it is “committed” to The Shops at South Town and wants to ensure that the mall continues “to be a vibrant and integral part of the community.”

“It’s exciting to see SEG working on revitalizing downtown Salt Lake in a way that will benefit generations to come and to see that they are also investing in other communities. The entire state will benefit,” according to Stevens.

While the permanent practice facility won’t be ready for use until the 2025-26 season, Smith Entertainment Group is “enthusiastically working with a variety of local partners” on establishing final plans for the team’s temporary practice facility ahead of Utah’s first season in the NHL beginning this fall.

A source told KSL Sports that the ownership group is slated to present its plans for revitalizing downtown, including renovations to the Delta Center and the surrounding area, on Tuesday, May 7.

What does Utah’s NHL team need for next season?

Before the team was officially introduced to fans at the Delta Center on April 24, general manager Bill Armstrong discussed what the franchise needed to be ready for next season amid relocation from Arizona.

Armstrong said that the team only needed ice to be ready for the 2024-25 campaign.

“We just need ice whether it’s here or out at one of the practice rinks,” the GM told the media. “As long as we have ice, we’re good…Obviously, we’ll work on that as the summer progresses but there’s rinks here. We’re in good shape that way. There’s a million different ways that we can do it.”

“I’m pretty confident in our group and, you know, one thing about Ryan [Smith] is that he gets things done. So we’re very, very confident,” Armstrong continued. “We’ve had a look at all the Jazz facilities and all the facilities here [Delta Center] and it’s incredible what they’ve done and we’re looking forward to the day that that’s all finished for us.”

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. Listen to Ireland on Yards After College: An NFL Podcast. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Smith Entertainment Group announces location of Utah’s NHL practice facility