Work began on the 6,500 capacity arena section of the facility in the summer of 1998 and was completed in the spring of 2000. The Panthers played their final game at the Ice Stadium on 22 March 2000. After the game supporters were allowed to dismantle anything easily removable from the interior of the building to take home as souvenirs. The Ice Stadium was demolished soon afterwards to allow for the completion of the new Ice Centre.
The new National Ice Centre was designed by Nottingham City Council officials and was built by John Laing plc. The building cost £40 million to construct, of which £22.5 million was awarded by the National Lottery. The arena half of the facility was opened on 1 April 2000, with the second public skating pad opening a year later. Both rinks are Olympic sized ice pads measuring 196 feet (60 m) by 97 feet (30 m). The Panthers played their first game at their new home on 2 September 2000 when the team hosted the London Knights in the Benson & Hedges Cup. Barry Nieckar scored the club's first goal in a 2–1 Panthers victory played to a crowd of 4,800.
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