Team begins play in Florida in October
The ECHL announced on Wednesday that the League’s Board of Governors has approved the Transfer of Home Territory for the Membership that previously played in Evansville, Indiana to Jacksonville, Florida.
The Jacksonville IceMen will begin play in October at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, a 13,141-seat venue which opened in 2003.
“Jacksonville is an excellent geographic fit for our South Division,” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said. “Ron Geary and his team have been working behind the scenes for many months in preparation for this day. This is a great sports town and the Veterans Memorial Arena a terrific facility to showcase ECHL hockey.”
“Jacksonville is a natural fit for professional hockey,” said IceMen CEO Ron Geary. “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,” IceMen President Bob Ohrablo said. “We are committed to ensuring 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 ensure that the IceMen organization becomes a solid corporate citizen in Jacksonville.”
The Jacksonville Lizard Kings competed in the ECHL for five seasons from 1995-96 through 1999-2000, reaching the Riley Cup Finals in its first season. Jacksonville has a pro hockey history dating back to 1964, when the Jacksonville Rockets joined the Eastern Hockey League.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 29th season in 2016-17. There have been who have started their career in the ECHL who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 15 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2016-17 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2016-17, marking the 20th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.