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Hockey's back!

Jason Blakeney • jblakeney@pnj.com • April 30, 2009

The Escambia County Commission this morning OK'd a deal to have hockey in 2009.

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The vote was unanimous on the five-member board.

The deal is contingent on the team being able to sell 1,250 season tickets within 90 days, starting May 15. The deal will be revoked if the team fails to sell the tickets, commissioners said.

The Pensacola Civic Center and a prospective hockey ownership group have reached a lease agreement to bring a Southern Professional Hockey League franchise to Pensacola.

The negotiated lease looks much different than the original proposal by Tim Kerr, the former owner of the Pensacola Ice Pilots who wants to bring hockey back.

In the new proposal, Kerr's group says it will not collect revenue from food and beverage sales at the Civic Center. A previous proposal sought 15 percent of the concession sales.

The group also agrees to pay the Civic Center if the average paid attendance is less than 2,500 fans per game. For each fan under 2,500 paid tickets, the team will pay the Civic Center $1.

The contract agreement is for three years. The team will be required to sell 1,000 season tickets before mid-July, or the contract would be nullified.

The Civic Center will receive $1 from each ticket sold and will retain all profits from any public skate or recreational use of the ice.

The proposal also states that after being provided due notice, the team will reschedule games to make room for concerts and other events at the Civic Center.



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