NHL Seattle plans to build a three-rink ice skating facility at the Northgate Mall that will serve as a training facility for its potential expansion team, the organization announced this week.

The 180,000-square-foot project will include public skating facilities and will cost approximately $70 million, according to Lance Lopes, project leader for NHL Seattle, who spoke at a recent press conference.

NHL Seattle

“These facilities really change embracement of the sport,” Lopes said. “This is more than just a headquarters for us. We are also ambassadors for the game. To do that, we had to invest in a facility of this scale and size because it’s going to grow the game for our entire region for years to come.”

Though it’s not yet official, Seattle can expect to see an NHL expansion team playing in the city within the next couple years. Last week, the NHL executive committee voted 9-0 in favor of allowing NHL Seattle to purchase an expansion team. It will go to a full vote on Dec. 3 when the NHL board of governors meets.

If approved, the new team will play its games in KeyArena and train at the Northgate facility. The training rink will seat 1,000 spectators. The ice rinks will be available to the public and be rented out to youth sports organizations.

The complex will be located on the east side of the Northgate Mall property and will anchor the Simon Property Group’s planned mixed-use redevelopment. Simon is in the planning stages of adding between 500,000 to 700,000 square feet of retail space and a similar amount of office space. It will also add several hundred units of housing and hospitality.