Is the Sportscenter too small for the IceMen?
Not for long.
In a press conference Tuesday, IceMen owner, Ron Geary, (along with Mayor Ron Payne and Owensboro City Commissioners) announced plans to renovate the Sportscenter in order to accommodate the IceMen’s relocation to Owensboro.
In his initial comments, Mayor Ron Payne said the IceMen will expand the Sportscenter from 5,000 seats to 7,200 seats.
Ron Geary then explained the planned expansion that will bring the square footage from 11,000 to 16,500.
To assist in the project, the IceMen brought in the ECHL commissioner to do an initial inspection and approve the transaction. Geary also brought in a national expert who has converted many basketball arenas into hockey operations. “Plans are being looked at right now,” Geary said.
Those plans include:
- In order to get the required 200 feet of ice, the floor will be expanded 65-85 feet into the current parking lot
- Additional seating will then be installed along with the expansion
- The basketball floor can be placed back on top of the ice
- A team of engineers and architects are due to start looking at the Sportscenter Wednesday morning
“We need to hit the ground running tomorrow morning and we look forward to the challenges before us to make this project a success,” Geary said.
When asked if the IceMen planned to rename the Sportscenter or find a corporate sponsor, Geary answered, “We will be looking at opportunities like that. We haven’t done any work on that yet, but we will be looking for those opportunities before our next season starts in early November 2016.”
How will the fan base adjust to this change? “IceMen nation is arriving; it’s going to be bigger and better! Our fans love hockey. We hope all of our fans will come over here because this is a short drive and there’s no parking expenses the first year we open. This move will spread out our fan base even more. They will love this place,” Geary said.
The IceMen plan to invest between $4-6 million for the renovations.
Read our previous post about the history of the Sportscenter here.
Read more about the proposed restaurant with off-track betting Ron Geary is planning to bring to town here.