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Kettler Capitals Iceplex is the practice arena of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League. The highest ice rink above street-level in the United States, it is located on the eighth floor atop the parking garage adjoining the Ballston Common Mall in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia.
Opened in 2006, the 137,000-square-foot (12,700 m2) facility, which is owned by Arlington County and leased to the Capitals, houses two full-NHL-sized ice rinks with seating for 1,200, a training center, a proshop, and offices for staff of both the Capitals team and the WNBA's Washington Mystics team.
The Capitals spend about 300 hours annually practicing at the arena, which has 12,000 hours of ice time available annually. The Iceplex also serves as the home ice for the club teams of Georgetown University and George Washington University. The Iceplex also runs an adult league for amateur hockey players. It is regularly available for recreational use, and hosts "Learn to Skate" camps and lessons throughout the year.
Front lobby at Kettler Capitals IceplexThe Capitals had long practiced at a rink in Piney Orchard, Maryland, near the Capital Centre, even after the team moved to downtown Washington, D.C., in 1997. Ted Leonsis, who bought the Capitals in 1999, began looking to build a new practice facility. In 2004, the team secured agreements with Arlington County to build on top of the mall's parking lots.
The building was designed by William R. Drury of the Reston, Virginia based firm, Architecture, Incorporated, and completed in November 2006 at a cost of $42.8 million. It is built to LEED standards, though was not registered with the Green Building Council to receive a certification. It is not fully handicapped accessible.
Originally named Ballston Ice Arena, it was renamed by Washington, D.C. area real estate developer Robert C. Kettler. His firm, KSI Services, bought the naming rights to the arena on November 1, 2006, for seven years at $400,000 per year. The arena opened with its first practice 10 days later.
In 2010, the Arlington County Board recognized the facility in the inaugural DESIGNArlington awards.