The IceMen may have moved to Owensboro, but the team still doesn’t have an official home arena. One option for the team’s home, put on hold for now. City officials say they don’t plan to build a new arena for the team just off of Highway 54.
As the site for the planned Gateway Commons TIF District takes shape, it won’t be the future home for the IceMen for now.
“I’m sorry about that because I really thought we could use another area, or another arena for sports in the area,” says Tom Greathouse of Owensboro.
City officials say a planned replacement for the Sportscenter was put on hold after a feasibility study showed it wasn’t the right time to build one. It would’ve cost at least $25 million to build. But it could be built after the IceMen start play once the need grows.
“There may be other options for professional sports, for activities, for concert venues, for different forums, or things that maybe we don’t contemplate popular or needed in our community,” says Owensboro City Attorney Ed Ray. “As we gain more momentum with the way Owenbsoro’s growing, that may just add to all the different reasons that we need to build a new arena.”
A new arena just off Highway 54 was one of three options for the IceMen, who originally planned to spend several million dollars expanding, and renovating the Sportscenter.
Ray says the team cannot take over the Sportscenter until they have finalized plans and started work, adding renovating the building is the only option for the IceMen.
“I just think it will fit in with them,” says Hunter Greathouse of Owensboro. “Even though it is pretty old, it can use more space.”
“It’s an old building,” adds Tom. “I think it could help the area by renovating and bringing it up to date.”
Officials say the decision has no impact on team owner Ron Geary’s plans for a downtown restaurant with off-track betting.