The American Hockey League has announced that the 2019-20 AHL regular season will be paused for the safety of its players, employees, and fans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose City Council tonight unanimously approved a 200,000 square-foot expansion of Solar4America Ice at San Jose, which will add two additional recreational ice sheets to the facility, increasing the building's total ice sheets to six. The expansion will make Solar4America Ice at San Jose the largest ice facility under one roof west of the Mississippi River.
One of the additional ice sheets will be located inside a 4,200-seat, two-story spectator arena which will serve as the new home for the San Jose Barracuda, the American Hockey League (AHL) development affiliate of the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks.
Construction for the facility is expected to begin in late April 2020, with a targeted completion date of April 2022.
"We are thrilled to enhance our partnership with the City of San Jose and add much-needed additional sheets of ice at Solar4America at San Jose," said Senior Vice President, SAP Center and Sharks Ice Jon Gustafson. "This facility has become an incredible community asset, hosting more than 1.2 million visitors each year. It is also an important economic engine for our city, generating thousands of dollars in Transient Occupancy Taxes through hosting national and international hockey and ice competitions, filling nearly 6,000 hotel rooms annually."
The expansion will double the facility's footprint to just under 400,000 square feet, making it one of the premier recreational ice facilities in North America. It will be LEED certified Silver when complete.
The expansion will also include 20,000 square feet for a dedicated medical facility, expanded and enhanced restaurant facilities, a homework study area and a fitness center.
The 4,200-seat spectator arena will include locker rooms, training facilities and executive office space for the Barracuda, an in-arena Jumbotron with a 360-degree LED display ring, 12 suites, eight loge boxes, one theatre suite, a 46-person party deck, three bar locations, seven food concession stations, a press room and press box and two team merchandise stores.
The ice surface in the spectator arena will be available for public use when not in use by the Barracuda.
Solar4America Ice at San Jose is owned by the City of San Jose and has been managed and operated by Sharks Ice LLC, a subsidiary of Sharks Sports & Entertainment, since 1998. Since that time, the facility has seen two previous large-scale expansions. In 1999, a third ice sheet and a training facility for the San Jose Sharks was completed. In 2005, a fourth ice sheet and Stanley's Sports Bar was added.
In conjunction with Solar4America Ice at San Jose, Sharks Ice LLC manages and operates two other ice facilities in the Bay Area; Solar4America Ice at Fremont and the Oakland Ice Center, Operated by Sharks Ice.
The Sharks Ice family of rinks serves a diverse list of ice sports, including ice hockey, figure skating, broomball, curling, speed skating, ice dancing, as well as public skating. The Sharks Ice umbrella is home to the largest adult hockey league in the United States, boasting more than 4,300 participants.
In addition to serving as the official practice and training facility for the Sharks and the Barracuda, Solar4America at San Jose also hosts the San Jose State University Spartans hockey team, the Jr. Sharks hockey program, the Peninsula Figure Skating Club and the Silicon Valley Curling Club.
Many of the Bay Area's most prominent ice skaters have called the Sharks Ice family of rinks home, including 2019 and 2020 U.S. Figure Skating National Champion Alysa Liu, who skates out of Oakland. In addition, 1992 Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi, 1996 U.S. National Champion Rudy Galindo, and 2014 Olympian Polina Edmunds have all based out of Solar4America Ice at San Jose. 2017 National Champion Karen Chen has also called Solar4America Ice at Fremont home.