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September 8, 2004

International Construction

Hockey star Peter Forsberg helps build hometown arena

ORNSKOLDSVIK, SWEDEN

Hockey star Peter Forsberg will help finance a new 175-million kronor ($30 million Cdn.) arena in his northern Swedish hometown, says his father Kent.

Forsberg, who grew up playing for local team Modo before becoming a star in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, will own 40 per cent of the new arena along with his father, a news release said.

The Modo club, which will have the 6,500-seat arena as its new home ice, will own the other 60 per cent.

Peter Forsberg

“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 told 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, Norway.

It is not the first time he has poured money into promoting his home town.

Last summer he opened a $6.5-million (Cdn.) golf course on what used to be an agricultural college outside Ornskoldsvik.

The Associated Press

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