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Coachella Valley Firebirds will likely start season in Seattle while awaiting arena completion

The Coachella Valley Firebirds will likely kick off their inaugural season in Seattle while the team waits for their home arena to be completed, Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis announced.

Francis confirmed the news during his season-ending news conference on Tuesday. During a Q&A session, the Coachella Valley Firebirds were brought up.

Francis said the Firebirds' home rink at Acrisure Arena in Thousand Palms would probably not be open for games until December. The AHL season kicks off in mid-October.

"Certainly some challenges, the logistics, you know, getting players here, getting them accommodations, getting them down there, accommodations, filling out that roster," Francis said.

During the first month-and-a-half of the season, the Firebirds will play their home games in Seattle.

"We may start, most likely, out of Seattle. The first month-and-a-half, be based out of here [Seattle], play some games here in Seattle for the people here to see, and then eventually move down there [Coachella Valley] in our new building which is going to be fantastic," Francis said. "It's going to be outstanding once it gets up and running."

Francis said they're still talking about where in Seattle the Firebirds would play their home games. He said the team hopes they can play some games at Climate Pledge Arena, the Kraken's home rink.

Check Out: Coachella Valley Firebirds unveil its first jersey

The Firebirds are the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Seattle Kraken, meaning they will help develop some of the Kraken players.

Francis said they still have a lot to do to get the Firebirds ready before the first puck drop in October.

"We've got to hire a head coach, assistant coaches, head trainer, assistant trainer, head equipment guy, assistant equipment guy, strength coach, goalie coach, video coach," Francis said. "Fill out a roster. There's a lot of stuff to be done and it's going to be a bit of a challenge."

The Firebirds' practice facility is expected to be ready on Nov. 1.

Construction continues on Acrisure Arena, the $300 million, 10,000 seat arena is being built next to the Classic Club Golf Course just north of the Cook St. Interstate 10 exit.

Check Out: Inside look at Acrisure Arena’s progress; locker rooms, suite levels, practice rink and more

Officials broke ground on the arena in June 2021. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2022.

Arena officials have previously said the arena will host AHL hockey games, concerts, conventions, UFC, boxing, and WWE events.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates on Acrisure Arena and the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

Be the first to know when news breaks in Coachella Valley. Download the News Channel 3 app here.

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