Hockey fans will get a long-awaited Christmas present this year.
The Great Park’s new ice arena — a state-of-the-art practice hub for the Anaheim Ducks with rinks for youth programs and U.S. Figure Skating training — is scheduled to open this month.
Two of its four ice rinks are expected to open around Christmas, and the other two will likely open shortly after New Year’s Day.
At 280,000 square feet, the arena will be the state’s largest skating complex, and the crown jewel of The Rinks, the Ducks’ network of nine training facilities. The project broke ground nearly two years ago.
“We’re looking forward to the opening,” said Art Trottier, vice president of the Ducks’ The Rinks program. “It will not only be a great benefit to the city of Irvine and Orange County, but all of Southern California.”
The centerpiece of the $108 million project is the 2,500-seat arena, its Olympic-sized rink measuring 200‑by-100 feet. The other three rinks measure 200-by-75 feet, the size of National Hockey League rinks.
The facility, near the junction of the I-5 and I-405, is the culmination of a vision by Ducks’ owners Henry and Susan Samueli, who bought the team in 2005 and raised money for the project through a foundation.