ORNSKOLDSVIK, Sweden -- Peter Forsberg will help finance a
$23 million hockey arena in his northern Swedish hometown, his
father Kent said Friday.
Forsberg, who grew up playing for local team Modo before
becoming a superstar in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, will
own 40 percent of the new arena along with his father, according to a news release. The Modo club, which will have the 6,500-seat arena
as its new home ice, will own the other 60 percent.
"For me, and especially for Peter, it has always felt natural
to help realize the arena of the future and secure the future of
hockey in Ornskoldsvik," Kent Forsberg said at a news conference.
The new arena, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to be
completed in 2006.
Forsberg has said he will likely play for Modo next season if
the NHL players go on strike.
Ornskoldsvik, a seaport with some 31,000 people, is located
halfway between the Swedish capital Stockholm and the Arctic
Circle. The town has produced a wealth of hockey talents, including
Vancouver Canucks stars Markus Naslund and twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Forsberg was the 2003 NHL MVP, and has been one of the most
popular athletes in Sweden ever since he scored the winning penalty
shot against Canada in the 1994 Olympic Games at Lillehammer,
It is not the first time he has poured money into promoting his
hometown. Last summer, he opened a $5 million golf course on what
used to be an agricultural college outside Ornskoldsvik.
Forsberg will spearhead a Team Sweden squad that takes on
archrival Finland in the World Cup Saturday.