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Duck Tales: The Honda Center area is slated to for a facelift

Ducks’ owners Henry and Susan Samueli are powering a new entertainment complex around the arena.

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When Anaheim Ducks’ owners Henry and Susan Samueli pledged the team’s commitment to the area for up to 50 years, they made an agreement to gain control of the 115 acres surrounding the Honda Center.

Now we know why.

Local officials announced Wednesday that the area around Honda Center will be developed into a massive entertainment complex, which will be called OC Vibe.

“ocV!BE will provide a live, work, and play community of a scale not seen in Orange County, with live entertainment events and activities year- round,” said Tim Ryan, CEO of ocV!BE Sports & Entertainment, LLC.

The massive project has plans to include: a 68,000-square-feet food hall, a 6,000 capacity concert hall, plus a mix of restaurant and retail spaces. The group hopes this gives fans a reason to come early, and stay late when they attend a Ducks game.

OC Vibe will also have a 325,000-square-feet office tower, two hotels, residential apartment units, plus 30 acres of parks and open spaces.

“ocV!BE will transform Anaheim as a destination,” said CEO of Visit Anaheim Jay Burress, “This exciting project will assist Anaheim in attracting and retaining guests, particularly conventioneers, to dine, shop, stay and be entertained in Anaheim, generating significant revenue for the local hospitality industry and the City of Anaheim.”

This project should make Anaheim a more attractive destination for the NHL’s league-wide events, such as the draft and All-Star game.

Anaheim finished the 2019-20 season 25th in average attendance, at 15,846 per game. Some may point to the diminished on-ice product, but the the Ducks haven’t finished higher than 22nd in attendance over the past five seasons.

The project is expected to be completed by 2024.

And, if you’re interested in finding out more about why the Ducks promoted Martin Madden to assistant GM, The Athletic’s Eric Stephens did a deep dive on the move.