Spring 1994: Harry Harkimo came up with the idea of constructing his own ice rink.
Summer 1994: the Finnish Ice Hockey Association sent a letter to the Helsinki municipal board requesting the construction of a multi-activity venue in the center of Helsinki, near Töölö Bay. The association hoped to have the new hall completed in time for the 1997 Ice Hockey World Championships to be held in Helsinki.
Spring 1995: the city board decided on Pasila as the location of the multi-activity venue and according to the cooperation agreement between Hartwall and Helsinki Halli, the official name of the building would be Hartwall Areena.
Actual planning for the arena started in May 1995.
Blasting work started October 1995.
The construction committee of Helsinki granted the construction license February 1996.
The foundation of Hartwall Areena was laid on April 2, 1996 and the topping-out celebration took place in August that same year.
The first public event held at Hartwall Areena took place on April 17, 1997 - the Beach Boys in concert. On April 19, President Martti Ahtisaari carried out the official inauguration of Hartwall Areena.
The Ice Hockey World Championships were played in Hartwall Areena from April 26 to May 14, 1997.