A Russian billionaire plans to build the largest hockey arena on Earth.
Gennady Timchenko, the president of the SKA St. Petersburg hockey club, told some Russian media outlets that the new venue will have a capacity of 22,500 and could host the 2023 World Championship, according to The Associated Press.
With a capacity of 21,288, Montreal’s Centre Bell/Bell Centre — home of the Canadiens — is currently hockey’s largest indoor venue. Though the Red Wings recently moved to Little Caesers Arena (which hold 19,515 for hockey games), the team’s old home of Joe Louis Arena was the sport’s second-biggest in the world at 20,027.
Chicago’s United Center rounds out the top three with a capacity of 19,700. The biggest indoor hockey rinks in the world are located in Canada and the United States, and are all home to NHL clubs.
The venues hosting teams within the Eurasian-based Kontinental Hockey League that support the largest crowds are in Minsk, Russia (15,086), Beijing, China (14,000) and Helsinki, Finland (13, 506).
Shovels are predicted to be in the ground to start the new project at the beginning of 2019. The estimated cost of the arena is around 20 billion rubles, somewhere around $384 million Canadian, according to the report.