Seattle Kraken delays AHL franchise by 1 year

Sunil Kumar
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SEATTLE — The Seattle Kraken will split its players among several American Hockey League teams for its inaugural 2021-22 season with plans for their own AHL franchise in the Palm Springs area delayed by a year.

Oak View Group and the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation announced plans Wednesday to build a sports and entertainment arena in California’s Coachella Valley that will be the future home of the Kraken’s AHL franchise, but it will not open until the 2022-23 season.

Oak View had originally partnered with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to build an arena on 16 acres of land owned by the tribe in downtown Palm Springs with the hopes of having the arena open for the 2021-22 season. But the sides could never finalize the agreement.

“We appreciate the ongoing support and encouragement from the community and are very pleased to be partnering with the Berger Foundation who share our vision for creating a world-class venue for the Coachella Valley and what will be one of the most premier music and professional sports arenas in the world,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group.

The new location for the arena will be closer to Palm Desert. Construction on the 10,000-seat arena will begin in 2021 and have a targeted completion date of late 2022.

“This new arena will offer a great game day experience from parking to puck drop,” Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said.



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