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Indoor ice facility coming to historic Bronx armory

Nine-sheet complex expected to be completed by 2019

Sarah Hughes and Mark Messier (back row, left) join New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in announcing the transformation of the Kingsbridge Armory into an indoor ice facility.
Sarah Hughes and Mark Messier (back row, left) join New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in announcing the transformation of the Kingsbridge Armory into an indoor ice facility. (Edward Reed)

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By New York City Mayor's Office
(04/23/2013) - New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced Tuesday plans to transform the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx -- vacant since 1996 -- into the world's largest indoor ice facility.

The landmark, which sits at 29 West Kingsbridge Road, will be redeveloped into a 750,000-square-foot ice sports facility to be known as Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC). KNIC will feature nine year-round indoor regulation-size ice rinks, including a feature rink that can seat approximately 5,000 people and be used to host national and international ice hockey tournaments, figure and speed skating competitions, and ice shows.

"Through this redevelopment, the Kingsbridge Armory will now have an interior program befitting its iconic exterior architecture," Bloomberg said. "The construction of the world's largest indoor ice rink facility will create recreational opportunities for millions of visitors and local residents, and most importantly create hundreds of jobs for the local community."

Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement at the Kingsbridge Armory, where he was joined by, among others, two icons of ice sports in New Yory City: Olympic figure skating gold medalist Sarah Hughes and New York Rangers hockey legend Mark Messier.

"Today is a day for New York City to celebrate," Hughes said. "The Kingsbridge National Ice Center -- and the educational and fitness initiatives it will create -- represents new possibilities for so many children, including those who dream of one day becoming Olympic champions. This is the start of something incredible for the Bronx, and I am proud to be part of it."

"I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership in reaching this decision," Messier said. "As a hockey player, I believe the Kingsbridge National Ice Center will change the sport in the metropolitan area. As a New Yorker, I know it will also change this city, providing invaluable educational and athletic opportunity to thousands of young people, and transforming the Bronx into the new center of ice sports in the United States."

Of the nine ice rinks, five will be located on the main floor and four will be constructed on two platforms elevated approximately 40 feet above the main floor. At least two rinks at KNIC will be sled hockey-compatible for people with disabilities. The facility is expected to be open 365 days a year.

In addition to the ice rinks, the facility will feature: a wellness center, with off-ice training fitness, rehabilitation and sports therapy programs; dressing rooms and lockers with storage for individual hockey equipment; concession space; retail space for ice sport goods; and parking for approximately 480 cars. Renderings are available at www.flickr.com/nycmayorsoffice.

KNIC also plans to create a foundation to establish free after-school ice sports and academic tutoring programs for disadvantaged youth.

The project's anticipated groundbreaking is in late 2014. The entire project will be built in two phases -- with the first phase, consisting of five ice rinks, 50,000 square feet community space, concessions and parking -- expected to be complete by September 2018. The remainder of the project will be built in the second phase, which is expected to open by September 2019.