SKA Saint Petersburg could be set to play in the world’s biggest ice hockey arena, according to the billionaire owner of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) club.

Speaking to Russian media on Saturday, SKA president Gennady Timchenko revealed plans to develop a 22,500-seat arena at a projected cost of at least R20bn (£230.2m/€254.1m/$297m).

Construction on the arena is predicted to commence next year, with a view to it being completed in 2023.

Timchenko said, according to state news agency Tass: “I think that this arena will cost at least 20 billion (rubles), or even more. This is not state funding, it’s a private enterprise.”

SKA currently plays at the 12,300-capacity Ice Palace (pictured), which opened in 2000 to host that year’s Ice Hockey World Championship.

Timchenko said that the new arena would also be used to host concerts, along with sporting events. He added: “In this city it will work from a commercial point of view, we want to make sure that our club eventually earns money.”

Montreal’s Bell Centre is currently the world’s largest ice hockey arena, hosting 21,288 fans in its configuration for the sport.

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