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

Ron Francis, NHL Seattle's General Manager was in Palm Springs Monday morning to speak on the progress of the city's new hockey team.

Francis says the process is on track to have a team ready to compete for the 2021-2022 season.

An arena is slated to go up at a vacant parking lot off N. Calle Encilia and E. Amado Rd in downtown Palm Springs. The project, with a price tag of $250 million dollars, is set to house 10 thousand people. It will also be a hub for music and entertainment.

"We’re hoping hopefully in the next month that we can start the groundbreaking, and start building the arena and have it ready to go for the '21-'22 season," NHL Seattle General Manager, Ron Francis said.

Francis was inducted into the hall of fame back in 2007. He previously worked with the Carolina Hurricanes before becoming the franchise's first general manager in Seattle.

Francis is not only working bringing an American League Hockey team to Palm Springs. He is also involved in the creation of the team's affiliate-- the NHL's newest expansion team in Seattle.

"We’re trying to fill staff for a lot of different areas-- whether it’s coaching staff, starting staff, strength and conditioning, you name it," Francis said.

He's also in charge of recruiting players for the valley's team.

“We’re searching all over for free agents as well to fill this team," Francis said.

The area where the arena will go up is already brimming with expansion. It's right across the Agua Caliente Casino. Just down the street an Agua Caliente Cultural Center is also going up.

Francis says a team name has not yet been decided.

The organization is working to get sponsorship from local businesses. It is also accepting season ticket deposits from fans.

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Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019. Learn more about Shelby here.


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