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Chicago City Council approves Blackhawks practice facility

The Blackhawks receive four acres of land.

Courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks

The old Malcom X College will be demolished to make way for a new Blackhawks practice facility after the Chicago City Council approved four acres of land Wednesday, reports Chicago Sun Times' Fran Spielman.

The Blackhawks and Rush University Medical Center will pay $26.7 million for the 11-acre site at 1900 W. Van Buren Ave. Spielman notes Rush will build a $500 million for a "academic village" on seven acres.

City Hall expects to spend $8 million to demolish the old Malcolm X and prepare the site for construction, leaving Chicago taxpayers with a net profit of $16.3 million from the deal.

Peter Hassen, senior executive director of marketing for the Blackhawks, has estimated that the community would have access to the two-rink facility 50 percent of the time. He pegged the value of community benefits at $3 million over five years.

"We’re looking at how much the ice time is, how much transportation is, how much food costs are, how much the equipment is going to be, how much staffing is," he said.

The Chicago Zoning Committee unanimously approved the facility Tuesday. Walter Burnett, Jr., Alderman for Chicago's 27th ward, announced Tuesday there will also be a to be determined restaurant. The Blackhawks received approval from the city's plan commission Jan. 22.

Johnny's IceHouse West has served as the Hawks' practice home since February 2010. The team's current contract runs through June 2017, which gives a general idea when the new facility will open.