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How expensive practice mats and locker rooms are reshaping free agent wrestling – the athletic

By on January 6, 2022 0


Macy’s previously occupied this particular spot in Northgate Station, a mall that has been in Seattle for over half a century.

Today, this space is home to a contemporary 167,000-square-foot giant, comprising corporate offices, three NHL-sized rinks, a 5,500-square-foot training space with every imaginable gym equipment, as well as a bar and a restaurant. Oh, and a Seattle staple: an onsite Starbucks.

This is the Kraken Community Iceplex, and it is the main residence of the Seattle Kraken when they are not at the Climate Pledge Arena.

Seattle’s planning and prioritization of a high-end training facility in its first season highlights a growing trend in the NHL.

The race to build the best facilities for players and staff has gone from a competition between the richest teams to a necessity for all – a battle to boast the most comfortable lounges, most convenient locations and the highest technology in sports and medical science. All with the aim of attracting and retaining the best players in the game and strengthening ties with the communities where teams play and sell their brands.

Players, agents and opposing teams have taken notice of the league-wide effort, especially in the new buildings.

“When we had the (Edmonton bubble) other teams were able to use our locker room,” said Edmonton Oilers CEO and president Bob Nicholson. “I know how impressed the players and the teams were when they saw it. There is no doubt that (Oilers owner) Daryl Katz built the facility for the fans and he wanted to make it special. With the dressing room, he wanted to make sure the players wanted to come. Not just for practicing and training, but for hanging out.