Three Options Now Attached to Icemen Move to Owensboro [VIDEO]
The Evansville Icemen are moving to Owensboro. That we know. They will be called the Owensboro Icemen. That we now know if we didn't already. The Owensboro Icemen will play hockey in the Owensboro Sportscenter. That we now, actually, don't know for sure.
In a press conference at Owensboro's City Hall on Monday afternoon, Owensboro mayor Ron Payne announced that two other options are now on the table.
The contract between the Icemen and Owensboro has now been extended through September 30th, 2016 so that these other options can now be weighed.
Mayor Payne announced that one other option is build a new structure on the site where the current building is now located.
The third option, which Payne said was his favorite, is to build a brand new arena as part of the TIF development on Highway 54.
Payne says that project would generate $158 million in new tax revenue with 85% of that being state tax money, the largest component of which is sales tax.
In the presser, Evansville Icemen owner Ron Geary said that the ECHL has officially approved the move to Owensboro.
Geary also said that the target for the first game played in Owensboro is October 2017, which both Geary and Payne admit is an aggressive timetable.
Because of all the plans and options now on the table, the Icemen will not have a 2016-2017 season in preparation for the move in the fall of '17.
In discussing the Sportscenter, Geary mentioned that the "line of sight" wasn't as good as he originally thought.
He also said that there are plans for 18 suites in the new Icemen arena, in whatever form it will take.
Geary said that as a historical preservationist, he would like for the first option--renovating the original Sportscenter--to work, but that all options will absolutely be explored.
Here's the announcement from earlier today: