February 8, 2017 1:12 pm
PRO HOCKEY COMES TO JACKSONVILLE
ECHL Unanimously Approves Transfer to Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL – City of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry joined ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna to welcome the Jacksonville IceMen to the City and League. Joined by IceMen ownership, including CEO Ron Geary; Team President Bob Ohrablo; Phil Eichinger and Jacksonville based Frank Ruperto, the group announced that this fall, the former Evansville IceMen will begin play at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
The team will play a 36-game regular season home schedule against South Division teams from Atlanta, Cincinnati, Naples/Fort Myers, Orlando, and Greenville and Charleston, SC, as well as the rest of the 28-team ECHL, which extends from Jacksonville to Anchorage, Alaska.
The ECHL serves as a development league for the National Hockey League.
“On behalf of the ECHL Board of Governors, we are pleased to welcome the Jacksonville IceMen to the ECHL,” proclaimed Brian McKenna, the ECHL’s Commissioner. “The continuing growth of Jacksonville, along with the experienced and enthusiastic ownership group, the wonderful venue and support of the city officials, creates a very positive outlook for the future of pro hockey in Jacksonville.”
“Jacksonville is a natural fit for professional hockey,” said Geary, who has owned the IceMen team for the past eight years in Evansville, Indiana. “We looked at the enthusiastic support current teams receive here and are excited to join them in providing Jacksonville fans with solid family-priced sports entertainment.”
“We are honored to bring professional hockey back to Jacksonville,” added Ohrablo. “We are committed to insuring that everyone who attends IceMen games will enjoy a competitive team and plenty of entertainment surrounding our games – all at family affordable prices. In addition we will insure that the IceMen organization becomes a solid corporate citizen in Jacksonville.”
The IceMen are supported by a Jacksonville IceMen Advisory Group that includes community leaders such as:
John Delaney (former Mayor, President-UNF)
Toney Sleiman (Principle, Sleiman Enterprises)
Frank Ruperto (Jacksonville IceMen partner and CFO/SVP Rayonier Advanced Materials) more participants to come.
“There are many people that have helped make this happen,” added Ohrablo. “They include our owner/members, special advisors to the organization Terry Delahunty and Gerald Higgins and we are very fortunate to have former Barracuda defensemen and general manager, Gilles Richard and former NHL star Ron Duguay on our team as well.”
The IceMen will shortly unveil its Faceoff Jacksonville which will be a series of exciting events leading up to Opening Night in October 2017. More information on season memberships is available at www.jacksonvilleicemen.com.