Some perspective from your editor regarding yesterday’s major Snoqualmie Ridge ice hockey rink announcement

As many of you may have heard yesterday, there was a major announcement of a new ice hockey facility coming to the Snoqualmie Valley.

Here is more on that from KING 5 reporter Chris Daniels, but we wanted to add a little additional information and perspective about this announcement and how it will impact the Valley.

For those not aware, the Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association is one of several organizations in the region that promotes and sponsors youth ice hockey, but is the one that covers teams and players serving the Valley. The association has battled for years with a lack of facilities, with their closest on the Eastside being in Kirkland. As Daniels’ story notes, the association is expecting an uptick in interest, and has already seen some growth start to occur, as a result of last December’s announcement of a National Hockey League expansion franchise coming to western Washington.

As for that NHL team, this soon-to-be constructed facility, which will be located deep within the Snoqualmie Ridge industrial core behind Safeway and the shopping center up there, is not slated to be the team’s practice facility. That facility, as you may also know, is being constructed in north Seattle as part of the redevelopment of Northgate Mall. However, there is a chance you may see a Seattle NHL team practice or two take place there if the team decides to do certain practices around the region as a means of building interest in the team among local fans.

It could also be a plus for attracting some of those professional players in any event to make the neighborhood their home when the new team starts operations in 2021. Having a facility like that nearby will allow for those players to do additional work beyond what they would do in regular team practices and also in the offseason.

That all said, the primary use for the facility will be for youth hockey and the building is expected to generate a lot of use from folks from outside the Valley, which could help Ridge businesses economically. Traffic impacts are likely not to be too serious considering the location of the facility well off Snoqualmie Parkway. There could be additional issues though with additional traffic through the I-90/Highway 18 interchange, but outside of that, traffic impacts are not going to be too big of an issue, we expect.

The facility might also help generate additional local interest in the sport, and could, one day, serve as a home for high school hockey programs, including at Mount Si should the school want to explore such a program for their athletic department in the future.

In all, this was a great announcement and one that will be good news for our community moving forward.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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