It was a ceremonial welcome for the Warrior Ice Arena on Thursday as the under-construction Allston-Brighton arena moved closer to welcoming the Boston Bruins.
Construction was underway at the 75,000-square-foot rink, which would soon serve as the B’s new practice facility and be a centerpiece of a massive mixed development run by New Balance, the local shoe and athletics giant.
The rink was slated to open in fall, 2016. The Bruins now practice at the Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington.
“Since joining the Bruins in a front office capacity, a goal of mine has been to move the Bruins into a first-class practice facility and this agreement moves us closer to accomplishing that goal,” Bruins President Cam Neely said in a July statement about his intent to sign a lease with developers.
New Balance’s development arm NB Development Group had ambitious plans for the 15-acre stretch of former industrial property along the Mass Pike and on Boston’s outer edge. There is the oddly shaped New Balance headquarters, which opened in September, but under construction were an indoor track facility, a hotel, apartments, a commuter rail stop, office space and planned storefronts with an athletic bent.
On a tour of the New Balance building last month, a developer spokeswoman said the area would constitute a neighborhood to be dubbed “Boston Landing.” Erin Harvey, leasing and marketing manager for the development group, called it the city’s next “health and wellness district.”