–World’s Largest Ice Sports Facility Will Draw More Than 2 Million Visits Annually, Generating 590 Permanent Jobs, $88 Million a Year in Economic Activity–
NEW YORK, September 10, 2012 – A proposal to transform the Bronx’s long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory into the largest ice sports facility in the world would have a net new economic impact of $1.3 billion on New York City, according to a March 2012 study by HR&A Advisors released today.
Backed by New York Rangers legend Mark Messier and Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Sarah Hughes, the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) would be an international sporting destination similar to the US Open, and on par with Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden in attendance, drawing approximately 2 million visits annually on a year-round basis.
A critical finding of the study notes that whereas other proposals for the Armory would redirect Bronx residents’ spending from existing retail and entertainment establishments, the Kingsbridge National Ice Center would complement and support neighborhood businesses, while bringing new visitors to the borough.
At least 1.5 million of KNIC’s more than 2 million annual visits will come from outside the Bronx, including approximately 580,000 from beyond New York City. These visitors would generate $42 million in new economic activity in the Bronx each year and more than $88 million city-wide.
“The economic impact of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center would be profound, positive and far-reaching,” said Carl Weisbrod, partner with HR&A. “This proposal is uniquely positioned to attract new visitors to both the Bronx and New York City, generate substantial new tax revenues for the city and the state, drive new business to the surrounding community and create new jobs.”
HR&A Advisors is a consultant of KNIC Partners, which commissioned the study.
The project will create a total of 1,850 construction jobs city-wide, including 890 in the Bronx as a direct result of construction at the Armory itself and 1,300 as a result of visitor spending and new economic activity. Additionally, more than 170 permanent, full-time jobs will be created at the Ice Center as well as 380 in the Bronx as a result of visitor spending and new economic activity, with a total of 590 permanent jobs city-wide.
“The Kingsbridge National Ice Center will not only be a boon to the local community – it will be a tremendous economic engine for the Bronx and all of New York City,” said Kevin Parker, founder of KNIC and partner in the project. “Every benefit this project will create begins within the walls of the Armory, but flows outward and touches every corner of the five boroughs.”
The second phase of the proposed project – which calls for the creation of a hotel, as well as a sports-themed public school intended to address the critical shortage of school seats in the community surrounding the Armory – is expected to contribute significantly more to the project’s economic impact. Projections inclusive of phase II were not yet finalized at the time of this study.
“In view of the enhancements to the KNIC program since our March analysis, and the probability of a second phase to the project, which would add a hotel and a public school, the positive economic impacts are likely to be far greater than set forth in the March report,” added Mr. Weisbrod.
Other findings of the study include:
•KNIC’s construction will generate approximately $250 million in direct impacts and will have a total impact of $395 million on New York City’s economy.
•The net present value of incremental tax revenue due to KNIC’s construction and operations for the City of New York will be approximately $71 million. The Armory alone will generate a net present value of $55 million.
•The net present value of incremental tax revenue due to KNIC’s construction and operations for the State of New York will be approximately $55 million. The Armory alone will generate a net present value of $43 million.
Upon completion, the Kingsbridge National Ice Center would be the largest ice sports facility in the world, with nine year-round indoor rinks, including a 5,000-seat center show-rink. KNIC would operate 365 days a year, ensuring a consistent influx of visitors to the community throughout the year.
Regular programming within the facility – including recreational skating, private and group instruction, training, rehearsals and competitions – will draw an average of 7,000 people daily. Approximately 200,000 people each year are expected to come to the facility for special events, including local, regional, national and international tournaments, camps, competitions and shows for a variety of ice sports including hockey, figure skating, speed skating, synchronized skating, ice dancing and even curling.
About the Kingsbridge National Ice Center
The Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC), proposed for the iconic Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, would be the largest ice sports facility in the world. With nine year-round indoor rinks, including a 5,000-seat center show-rink, KNIC would be an international sporting destination, drawing more than 2 million visits a year.
KNIC will welcome first-time skaters and champion athletes alike, with recreational skating, private and group instruction, training, rehearsals and competitions all under one giant, historic roof. Educational and athletic programs led by New York Rangers legend Mark Messier and Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Sarah Hughes will make ice sports accessible and exciting for young people in the surrounding community with free instruction, equipment and ice time. And with special events including local, regional, national and international tournaments, camps, competitions and shows, this world-class facility will become a global center of hockey, figure skating, speed skating, synchronized skating, ice dancing and even curling.
About HR&A Advisors
HR&A is an industry-leading real estate, economic development and energy efficiency consulting firm that provides innovative solutions to the challenges of urban development. The firm has offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.