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Palm Springs official: arena project ‘plans stopped’ because of coronavirus outbreak

The groundbreaking ceremony for the 10,000 seat arena in downtown Palm Springs will have been delayed by exactly four months on Thursday.

Officials with the City of Palm Springs tell News Channel 3, "the City had been working with Oak View Group on parking, traffic and security plans." However, according to City Manager David Ready, it is "because of the COVID outbreak" that "plans stopped."

Officials with the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Band of Indians and its partner in the project, Oak View Group, a global sports and entertainment company, did not confirm reports that the project is currently on hold.

“Given the current unprecedented times, discussions around arena construction timelines continue and we will provide updates when available as we work closely with the City of Palm Springs and Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians,” John Bolton, the general manager of the arena, told News Channel 3 in a statement.

The $250 million arena was set to be built on Agua Caliente tribal land right by the Palm Springs casino.

The arena was expected to open in fall 2021 just in time to be the home of the minor league affiliate for Seattle's NHL team.

Full story: NHL Seattle GM visits Coachella Valley to talk progress on new Palm Springs hockey team

The arena wasn't going to just be used for hockey though. The tribe planned to host other sports, concerts, live entertainment, and events like conventions, large meetings, and award shows.

The resident reaction to the announcement of the area was mixed. Residents expressed concerns over traffic, parking and public safety during a special meeting in December.

The groundbreaking ceremony was set for February 18, however, it was delayed and a new date has not been announced.

Watch News Channel 3 tonight at 5 and 6 p.m. for more on the arena project.

This isn't the only major construction project by the tribe going on around the Coachella Valley. Construction on the Agua Caliente casino in Cathedral City continues. Groundbreaking started in November.

Construction is also continuing on the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, which is located near the Palm Springs arena. The museum was set to open sometime in 2020.

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Jesus Reyes

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