Kingsbridge Armory to be turned into skating rink

April 23, 2013 2:48:34 PM PDT
New York City has finally come up with a plan for the long-closed Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx.

On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a deal to turn it into one of the country's largest ice skating rinks.

Eyewitness News first told you about the proposal last summer.

The company that designed Madison Square Garden will be the architect for the $250 million project.

The New York Islanders will reportedly use the armory for practices when the team moves from Long Island to the Barclays Center in 2015.

Military use of the Bronx Kingsbridge Armory ended in 1996, and since then, it has sat vacant.

The armory was built in 1910 with an interior so large, you could fire a cannon at one end and not hit the other end. It covers five acres, making it possibly the largest in the world. It is nine stories tall, with stellar brick work, and the inside has a 10,000-square foot drill hall and an 800-seat auditorium, just waiting for new life.

The landmark armory, which occupies a full city block at 29 West Kingsbridge Road, will be redeveloped into a 750,000-square-foot ice sports facility to be known as Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

KNIC will feature nine year-round indoor regulation size ice rinks, including a feature rink that can seat approximately 5,000 people and be used to host national and international ice hockey tournaments, figure and speed skating competitions and ice shows. The project will also include 50,000 square feet of space designated for community uses. The facility will feature nine ice rinks, five on the main floor and four on two platforms elevated approximately 40 feet above the main floor.

In addition to the ice rinks, the facility will have a wellness center, with off-ice training fitness, rehabilitation and sports therapy programs; dressing rooms and lockers with storage for individual hockey equipment; concession space; retail space for ice sport goods; and parking for approximately 480 cars.