MOSCOW (AP) -- The Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League is to expand into China next season with a team in Beijing, the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
KHL deputy chairman Roman Rotenberg tells Russia's Tass agency that the as-yet-unnamed team will start play in September at the 18,000-capacity MasterCard Center in Beijing, the 2008 Olympic basketball venue and home of basketball team the Beijing Ducks.
Rotenberg says the new team will be financed by Russian and Chinese businesses and that the project includes an academy staffed by "several children's coaches" sent by the KHL to develop stars of the future.
The KHL includes 28 teams in seven countries, but Russia remains its heart, with 22 teams located there. Plans for large-scale expansion into Europe have stalled in recent years.