The Wild will be practicing on a rooftop rink next year

They signed a lease for what will be a glass-enclosed rink.
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It's official. The Minnesota Wild will be practicing on the roof of the former Macy's in downtown St. Paul.

The team has signed a lease for the Wabasha Center, developers announced Thursday, with the practice facility expected to be done in 2017.

The project will include a glass-enclosed (so indoors) NHL-standard ice rink, located on what's currently the roof of the building (right now it's a parking lot).

Below is a photo of what it'll look like – the picture is taken from the east, facing west towards what will be a 40-foot glass wall, developer Randy McKay of Hempel Companies, told GoMN. (In the rendering of the building above, you can see the giant glass wall at the top of the building.)

Wild officials will also have offices and training space in the basement of the building – private elevators will get them up to the rink, the Star Tribune reports.

“We are excited to have finally secured a site for a practice facility, and we couldn’t be more pleased that it will be located in downtown St. Paul,” Craig Leipold, the Wild's owner, said in a news release.

The Wild right now practice at the Xcel Energy Center, but because it also hosts concerts and events, the team has had to compete for ice time.

And the rink won't just be for professionals. Developers said it will also be open to area hockey teams, figure skaters and groups for ice rental.

More tenants coming

The Wild are the first confirmed tenants in the 529,053-square-foot building, but developers plan to reveal more tenants in the weeks to come, the release says.

Lee Krueger, the president of the St. Paul Port Authority, said because the Wild is involved in the project, they are seeing increased interest in the building "from a variety of tenants" who could add to the "vibrancy" of St. Paul.

The building, which takes up an entire block at Wabasha and 6th streets, was built in 1963 by Dayton's, but it has been empty since Macy's moved out in 2013. Redevelopment on the building began in 2014, and over the summer developers finished demolishing the interior and dealing with asbestos, the release says.

The project is expected to cost $63 million, the Star Tribune reports.

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