Mayor Ron Payne and IceMen owner Ron Geary announced today at a press conference that the IceMen’s deadline will be extended until September 30 in order to consider three options:
1) renovating the existing Sportscenter
2) building a new arena on the existing location
3) or building a brand new arena as part of 54 TIF.
Mayor Payne likes option #3. A new facility on 54 would be more accessible and would allow for some state funding to assist in the project.
Read our original post about the IceMen deal, the Ron Geary’s potential downtown restaurant, and plans to renovate the Sportscenter here.
The extension will allow no interruptions to the existing sports events, high school graduations, and other events already booked in the building.
The team’s move to Owensboro was officially approved at an ECHL owner’s meeting yesterday. Geary said the other 28 owners advised him to take the right approach and recommended taking a year off from playing to make the best decision possible. “This was a difficult decision for me because we’ve been building this organization for nine years and we have a lot of momentum going, but this is the right decision,” he said.
“I’m a historical preservationist. I want the first option to work, but we are going to consider the other two,” Geary said.
In the meantime, Geary says the IceMen will move their front offices to Owensboro to begin selling season tickets, acquiring sponsors, and making player appearances. “It is good to be here. We’ll immerse ourselves into this community. We want to bring a championship to Owensboro,” he concluded.
October 2017 will now be the start date for IceMen games in Owensboro.
The application to the ECHL now lists the Icemen as the “Owensboro Icemen.”