The Boston Bruins broke ground Wednesday on their new practice arena in Brighton.
The Warrior Ice Arena, named after the athletic equipment manufacturer Warrior Sports, will replace the Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, where the Bruins have practiced since the late 1980s. The facility is being built as part of a larger development next to the Massachusetts Turnpike that will include the new corporate headquarters of New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
“When I first got started, it was evident that we needed a new practice facility,” said Cam Neely, the president of the Bruins. “It’s a great location.”
“The Bruins are back in Boston,” echoed Bruins Principal Charlie Jacobs.
The 75,000-square-foot arena will be surrounded by offices, residences, and a hotel, developers said at the event. The rink will be open to public, said Mayor Martin Walsh, “so everyone will have the chance to skate on the same ice the Bruins practice on.”
Warrior makes equipment for hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. The company outfits about a dozen soccer teams around the world, including Liverpool Football Club in the English Premier League. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is among the high-profile hockey players who have endorsement deals with the company.
Terms of the deal with Warrior
were not disclosed.
Throughout professional sports, teams are upgrading their practice facilities to lure star players and to create new revenue streams. The Los Angeles Kings, winners of two of the last three Stanley Cups, have a 135,000-square-foot practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center, that includes a sports bar. Fans can buy gym memberships, and even throw kids’ birthday parties there.
The New York Yankees’ spring training field in Tampa is not only the home ballpark for one of the club’s minor league affiliates but also a concert venue, a photo backdrop for rent at $100 per hour, and the site of fantasy baseball camps that charge participants as much as $4,950 to spend a week pretending to be pros.
And the Dallas Cowboys are constructing a multiuse megaplex on 91 acres in Frisco, Texas. It will include a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that the team will use for practice but will also make available for high school football games and other events, such as cheerleading competitions.
The project, called Cowboys Alley, will also include residences, a hotel, dining, and retail.
Construction of the arena, which was originally scheduled to start next year, started earlier this month because the permitting process went more smoothly than anticipated, said Jim Halliday, the managing partner of NB Development Corp. Construction is planned to wrap up in fall 2016, he said.