The opening date for the ION International Training Center, a 100,000-square-foot ice skating facility located just outside of the town of Leesburg, Virginia, has been announced. According to the visionaries behind the ION complex, Luiz Taifas and Mitra Setayesh, the Training Center will open in eight months, with construction beginning on November 1. Taifas is a former Olympic figure skater, while Setayesh works for a consulting firm.
The facility will feature two rinks, one built to NHL standards for hockey and the other built for Olympic figure skating, according to Michael Neibauer of the Washington Business Journal. The hockey rink will have 4,200 seats and will be able to be covered for events such as horse shows, graduations, or concerts. Alongside the rinks will be a pro shop, a cafe, a gym, a study lounge for school-age skaters, and a medical area.
Setayesh believes that the rink will fill a growing need for ice rinks, as hockey has become a more popular sport to play in the Northern Virginia area. However, in Loudoun County, there are no substantial skating rinks west of the Ashburn Ice House, which the ION attempts to remedy. As reported by Neibauer:
The demand for ION, so named for its positive energy, is clear, Setayesh said. Every high school in Loudoun has a hockey program, she said, but some see little ice time because of the lack of rinks north and west of Ashburn. Loudoun is among the nation’s most affluent, fastest-growing counties, but large-scale venues for events, whether hockey or graduations, are sparse.
The ION International Training Center will be located in Compass Creek, a development by the Peterson Companies that is still in the works. This master-planned community will be located right at the intersection of the Dulles Greenway and Battlefield Parkway in Leesburg.
“Not only will Train to Skate at Compass Creek provide important recreational and entertainment options for the local community, it will also be a powerful tourism draw for Loudoun County — particularly with national/international youth sporting events,” Jon Peterson, Peterson Cos.’ principal, said in a statement to the Washington Business Journal. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if future Olympians came from this venue.”
The ION complex is not the only ice skating center in Northern Virginia slated to open in the next year. The St. James, a whopping 450,000-square-foot multi-purpose complex located in Springfield, Virgina, will open in fall 2018 with two NHL rinks. Alex Ovechkin attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility this past September.
Headline photo courtesy of Clockwork Architecture + Design
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