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GM says Las Vegas NHL practice facility will be ‘best of its kind’ — PHOTOS

George McPhee has been in a lot of ice rinks in his life. But the 58-year-old general manager of the Las Vegas NHL expansion franchise can’t wait to step inside the rinks that are being built at Pavilion Center Drive and will serve as the practice facility and headquarters for the team.

“It’s going to be the best in the business,” McPhee said Wednesday after he, team owner Bill Foley and officials from the Clark County Commission and the Howard Hughes Corp. took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking at the site for the $24 million, 120,000-square-foot facility that was recently expanded from the original 105,000-square-foot plan.

“The training facilities, the way it’s laid out, will be the best, both on and off the ice. The players are going to love practicing here. It allows you to take all the excuses away.”

While the site has been prepped during the past three weeks, construction isn’t expected to begin until the end of the month. Foley wants the building operational for the team’s inaugural training camp next September. The projected completion date is late August.

“It better be ready,” he said. “I’m going to be on everybody’s case to get it done on time. We’re not going to Whitefish (Montana) to have training camp. It’s going to be here in Vegas.”

The Pavilion Center site is across from Downtown Summerlin. It is a short drive from the team’s temporary offices in Summerlin and about 20 to 25 minutes from T-Mobile Arena, the team’s home rink. The land is being leased for 20 years from the Howard Hughes Corp.

Clark County Commissioner Susan Barger, in whose District F the facility is being built, is excited for the potential to grow the game among area youth.

“I’m excited for our youth. They have to beg for ice, and they won’t have to do that anymore,” she said of the additional two sheets of ice that will service the local youth hockey community when the NHL team isn’t using it.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow on Twitter: @stevecarprj

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