Wildcatters Granted Voluntary Suspension

Arena Unavailable In 2005-06, Team Will Return In 2006-07

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced Thursday that the Board of Governors unanimously approved a Voluntary Suspension request from the Texas Wildcatters for 2005-06 under the league’s hardship provisions as a result of the devastation of Hurricane Rita.

The Wildcatters reported to the Board that they were notified on Thursday that the Ford Arena will not be available to the team for 2005-06 due to the continuing recovery efforts. The ECHL team is located in Beaumont which suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Rita.

The ECHL will release a revised playing schedule for 2005-06 on Friday.

“While the ECHL is extremely disappointed with this announcement, we fully understand the devastation that has been caused by Hurricane Rita and the important function that Ford Park provides in the continuing recovery efforts,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “On behalf of all of our member teams, our best wishes go out to the Wildcatters players, staff and fans and all citizens of the Gulf Coast and Southeast Texas as they deal with this extremely difficult situation.”

The Wildcatters informed the Board that the team plans to return for 2006-07 and that it will reopen its offices as soon as possible.

“We are extremely disappointed that all of the hard work and effort both on and off the ice in preparation for this season has been lost,” said Wildcatters managing partner Rick Adams. “We will immediately begin preparations for a successful 2006-2007 campaign beginning with the retention of Head Coach Tony MacAulay. We intend to use the momentum we had going into this season and come back from this setback even stronger.”