Federally recognized tribe Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and sports and entertainment company Oak View Group (OVG) have announced a partnership to build a new state-of-the-art privately financed sports and entertainment arena on Agua Caliente land in downtown Palm Springs, California.
Live Nation Entertainment has also signed on to the agreement as a strategic partner to program the new venue.
Located on 16 acres of tribal land, the arena will be more than 300,000 square feet and feature as many as 10,000 seats or more and include modern amenities such as suites and premium hospitality clubs.
Additionally, NHL Seattle — led by owner David Bonderman — and OVG have jointly applied for the 32nd American Hockey League Franchise expansion team. If awarded, the expansion team would play in the new arena in Palm Springs for the fall of 2021.
“The new arena in downtown Palm Springs is a terrific project. If we are successful with our application for an AHL Franchise, it would represent an exciting opportunity to bring the first professional hockey team to this region,” said NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke in a release. “We are confident that the market is ready to embrace a winter sports team and that the community will help us achieve the minimum level of season tickets and premium sales we need.”
The arena will include an adjoining facility that will serve as a year-round community gathering space as well as the training center for an AHL team.
“This is a unique partnership that will forever change the face of sports and entertainment in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley,” tribal chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said in a release. “We are creating a healthy community gathering place for Coachella Valley families and visitors from around the world to celebrate, play and experience diverse entertainment opportunities in a state-of-the-art arena.”
The two entities suggest the arena will be built for conventions, large meetings, international events, award shows and exhibitions.
“With each venue, we’ve had the privilege of building and managing, Oak View Group has consistently continued to raise the industry standard, and the arena in Palm Springs will be no exception,” added OVG CEO Tim Leiweke. “We look forward to working with Agua Caliente to build what we consider to be one of the most premiere music and professional sports arenas in the world.”
In the past 24 months, OVG has announced the development of venues in Seattle, Belmont Park in Elmont New York, the University of Texas in Austin, the new Winter Olympic 2026 venue in Milan and now Palm Springs. OVG is currently leading and financing a $900 million-plus project at Seattle’s KeyArena that, when completed in 2021, will be home to Seattle’s NHL team.
Groundbreaking and construction for the Palm Springs arena are scheduled for February 2020. The arena is expected to open by fall 2021 in coordination with the Seattle NHL franchise for the 2021-2022 AHL season.