The Oak View Group and Berger Foundation officially broke ground on the highly anticipated Coachella Valley Arena in Thousand Palms Wednesday afternoon.
"This is the place people love coming to," said Tim Leiweke, CEO of developer Oak View Group.
Watch the complete groundbreaking ceremony below
Construction on the $300 million, 11,000 seat arena is expected to be complete by October 2022. It will be built on 43-acres of unincorporated land in Thousand Palms just north of the I-10 freeway next to the Classic Club Golf Course.
Officials said the arena will bring host AHL hockey games, concerts, conventions, UFC, boxing, and WWE events.
Leiweke also announced they will be building a training center that will allow for youth hockey and ice skating.
Joe Walsh of the legendary band, the Eagles, was the special surprise guest, speaking about the importance of the arena.
"I've seen the valley grow, I've seen the music get better, slowly but through the years and I truly think at this point, what the Coachella Valley needs is a world-class venue," Walsh said.
Rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter Joe Walsh says over his 35-year career, he's played in Coachella Valley a lot, calling it "a special place" across the music community because of the "desert vibe." @CoachellaArena live coverage: https://t.co/UA4990Bk0d pic.twitter.com/HQekBqSjq1— KESQ News Channel 3 (@KESQ) June 2, 2021
Walsh ended by hinting that the Eagles would play on opening night.
The groundbreaking ceremony included additional remarks from:
• Tim Leiweke, Oak View Group
• Tod Leiweke, Seattle Kraken/Seattle Hockey Partners
• Francesca L. Bodie, Oak View Group
• Scott White, Greater Palm Springs CVB
• Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Riverside County
• Doug Vance, Berger Foundation
• Irving Azoff, Oak View Group
#Arena groundbreaking: Not just hockey! Concerts are a big part of the plan. @Coachella & @Stagecoach "put music on the map here in the valley," but "we are just getting started with music here." Organizers expect "the biggest stars in the world"— KESQ News Channel 3 (@KESQ) June 2, 2021
The Coachella Valley Arena will be a state-of-the-art facility that will host concerts and entertainment events, as well as serve as the home of an AHL hockey team, the affiliate for the NHL's newest team, the Seattle Kraken.
Tod Leiweke, a partner in the Seattle Kraken, is expected to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony, along with Supervisor Manuel Perez, Scott White of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors' Bureau, Doug Vance of the Berger Foundation, and Tim Leiweke & Irving Azoff of the Oak View Group. There is also expected to be a special musical guest who has yet to be announced.
Watch News Channel 3 on Wednesday, June 2 for complete coverage and stay with us for updates on the arena.
The Oak View Group is the organization behind the Coachella Valley Arena. You can learn more about the group in our special I-Team report: