The United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice as of today are the top team in the league. Celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2014 has been a celebration of winning and development of hockey players at every level.
Splitting home games between the Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Pan Am Center in Indianapolis this season certainly could not have been easy on fans or the organization. The Ice are seventh in the USHL in attendance averaging just under 2,800 per night, down from just over 2,900 per night during the 2012-2013 season. One would have to wonder how much better attendance would have been had they not had to use two arena’s this season given the success they have had on the ice.
Rumors have been swirling of late that the Ice will “go dark” or relocate at the end of this season.
With an ECHL minor pro team coming into the city, and rumors that the Pan Am Arena will be shut down some time in 2014 to make way for a new hotel complex being developed by Kite Realty, the Ice are seemingly not on stable footing in Indianapolis.
Multiple sources are reporting to TJHN that the Indiana Ice have submitted a proposal to temporarily relocate the franchise to Port Huron Michigan.
Those same sources are reporting that the relocation plan has been denied by the USHL not once, but twice in the last two weeks.
Most recently, Port Huron Mayor Pauline Repp and other city officials met with the USHL regarding placement of a franchise in Port Huron. The proposal was denied citing that McMorran Arena did not meet certain USHL standards, and that those standards could not be met in time for the 2014-2015 season.
Other sources are also reporting that the Indiana Ice have not given up on their quest to relocate the team. Some sources are also stating that if Banker Life Arena were to make overtures to keep the team in Indianapolis releasing additional dates for use that it would be possible for the Ice to remain in the city. The 20,000 seat arena is considered much too large for the Ice to continue playing in.
All sources are reporting that Indiana Ice Ownership has not given up on playing the 2014-2015 season, though time is running out. Other arena options are available in the Mid Western footprint, the questions are; do those arenas meet USHL standards, and is there enough time left to save this franchise?
One source has stated that the Ice will be given every opportunity to save the day, and may have as much as a month left to do so.
On another note, Bart Rogers from US Cellular Coliseum contacted TJHN disputing the Bloomington Thunder SPHL team was behind on their rent saying “All of our teams who have a lease with our facility are paid in full after every game is played in our facility, facility fees and expenses that are agreed upon are deducted from each games Box Office revenues we collect.”
When asked to comment on the rest of our information, Mr. Rogers said he had no comment.