January/February 2021

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IT'S BECOME THE TREND that when an NHL team enters a new market, the amateur hockey scene there begins to grow exponentially. That's presumed to happen in Seattle when the NHL comes to town in the form of the Seattle Kraken, the league's 32nd team, which is set to become an official member starting in the 2021-22 season. But based on the looks of it, that rapid growth is well underway despite NHL hockey still a year away from the Emerald City. Much of that growth can be found inside the newly-opened Sno- King Snoqualmie facility located just outside of Seattle. And there are no signs of slowing down. A Wealth of Interest The rink is operated by Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association, a non-profit organiza- tion located in the Seattle area dedicated to the growth of youth hockey. Though the 2018 announcement of an NHL expansion to Seattle gave the area a recent boom in hockey excitement, the Sno-King organi- zation has been promoting the sport long before then, dating back to 1964. Sno-King boasts more than 1,300 partic- ipants, nearly half competing competitively with organized teams, while the other half is involved in the recreational programs. Sno-King first started out by operat- ing ice arenas in Renton and Kirkland, Washington. The Renton location was the county's first ice arena and its 46,000 square feet features two ice surfaces, an arcade, pro shop and party rooms among its many other amenities. Meanwhile, the Kirkland location offers one NHL-sized surface to go along with a pro shop and party rooms. While having three sheets of ice to work with is a blessing to most, those running the Sno-King hockey program knew it wasn't enough as the organiza- 16 / JANUARY.FEBRUARY.2021 USICERINKS.COM PHOTOS: SNO-KING SNOQUALMIE Featured Rink Snoqualmie Ice Arena | | Snoqualmie, Wash. Seattle-area rink is ready to capitalize on the NHL's newest arrival // by RYAN WILLIAMSON RELEASE THE EXCITEME NT

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