Preds break ground on new ice rink at former Hickory Hollow Mall - WKRN News 2

Predators break ground on new ice rink at former Hickory Hollow Mall

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

City officials and the Nashville Predators broke ground on a new recreation center and ice rink at the Global Mall at the Crossings in Antioch Wednesday.

Mayor Karl Dean, along with Nashville Predators' CEO Jeff Cogen and several players, will be part of the event which kicked off at 2 p.m.

The 80,000 square foot facility will include two ice rinks open to community groups, adult and youth leagues.

City leaders believe the hockey center will be a destination for young hockey players from all over the region.

"I think the more kids who are skating, the more people who are actually participating in the sport it's only going to reinforce that and it would be great to have homegrown talent make it up into the major leagues and play for the Preds. That would be wonderful," said Mayor Karl Dean.

The center will also include a community center, fitness center and library.  The facility is expected to open during the fall of 2014.

The city is spending $14 million for the project, which is a public-private partnership.

It will be owned by the Metro Sports Authority and managed by the Predators.  The rink will also serve as one of the team's practice facilities.

"We want to be an economic engine. We're going to offer scholarships for children who can't afford to play. We're going to offer jobs to area residents and we're going to drive bodies.  We're going to fill hotel rooms and restaurants and shops and create a win-win for all," said Jeff Cogen, CEO of the Nashville Predators. 

Residents in the area hope the project will bring new life to the Hickory Hollow area which has lost major retailers such as Target and Best Buy in recent months.

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